What’s going on in your favourite actor’s head?
Gabriel Temudzani has spent the better part of 20 years ruling the kingdom of Thathe in Venda soapie Muvhango (1997- current, see p11) as Chief Azwindini, running the royal house and his business with a strong, controlling hand. But while ladies’ man Azwindini is going through a rough patch – read more about his latest love drama on p11 – it’s a different story for Gabriel, who laughs at his character’s shortcomings: “You would think that he knows by now not to fool around with other men’s women. He has multiple wives. He should control his eye more. Look at what has happened – he lost his title as chief!” Gabriel meanwhile enjoys kicking back in front of the telly and being entertained without any of his character’s stresses.
Who was your first TV crush? Rosey Motene, who played the sassy journalist Tsego Motene on Generations (19942014). She was strong and beautiful. What did you do when an “adult” moment came on while were watching TV with family? Quickly find something else to focus my attention on. Even to this day I sometimes will grab my cellphone and play around on that for a few minutes.
What product have you wanted ever since
you saw it on TV? How do you think I keep my smile looking so good? I’ve got a fondness for toothpastes and I love trying the new ones.
Whose TV wardrobe do you want? Definitely my character. He still dresses like the chief even though he isn’t one anymore. His suits are slick for the boardroom too and conveys power.
Whose TV house would you love to live
in? That’s a tough one because there are a lot of nice houses on TV. But I am really comfortable in the royal house on our show. I know my way around and it’s got a feel that carries across the culture well. If you worked behind the scenes, which job would you want and why? Everyone probably says it, but directing. That job gives life to the show and characters – there is perspective and directive being added to the script.
What is one of your favourite plot
twists from a show? The one that my character is currently involved in. Muvhango is going back to its glory days and the infidelity scandal around Azwindini and having a lovechild is great for viewers.
Which character is your favourite hero
and why? I actually watched it on TV last night – Denzel Washington in 2002 drama film John Q. We need more characters like his, who are so driven to save their children that they take doctors hostage. It’s a profound situation to be in.
What is your nightmare scenario while
filming? I really dislike filming in the cold. That’s not cool at all, you know? With all the reboots happening, which series would you like to reboot and be part of? Thriller show Prison Break (2005-2017). I would reboot the recent reboot.
If you could play any character on any show,
who would it be and why? I’d love to do a reality fly- on-the-wall series about myself and the personal and professional journey that I’ve been on so far.
What show and episode made you cry
most recently? Mine – in mid-September when Azwindini’s wife Susan (Maumela Mahuwa) realised what was going on. She has been with him through thick and thin. It’s heartbreaking to watch. What show made you want to be an actor? Those old-school dramas on SABC like Lesilo Rula in the ’80s. Your favourite TV icon is? The late Joe Mafela, who shone the torch for entertainers in South Africa for decades.. And if you could change one thing about your character… How he relates to ladies.