Holding the reins
Dabula has Bhubesini and its people dancing to his tune when he takes over the throne.
It’s no secret that young Dabula (Chris Q Radebe) isn’t out to make friends after seizing the chieftancy in early October. He disrespects the elders, he uses women for sex and he puts his selfish desires before the community’s needs, which can only mean trouble. “He grew up with nothing and the chieftaincy presents the two things that he’s always wanted: power and money,” explains Chris. Dabula is desperate to prove to the royal family that he is capable of carrying out the role but “he wants vengeance on them for chasing his mother away when she was pregnant. Dabula had a tough upbringing and he resents the Ngubanes for leaving him out in the cold,” reveals the actor of his character’s new storyline.
Duma (Muzi Mthabela) was a placeholder while the elders were searching for the rightful heir to the throne after Chief Zweli (Andile Gumbi) passed away in 2017. Where did they find Dabula? He was a township scoundrel, constantly getting in trouble with the law. He doesn’t know it yet but Samson (Bheki Mkhwane) sent his friends to manipulate Dabula into taking the chieftaincy. While Samson has known from the start that Dabula is the product of incest [offscreen his father Chief Sibindi had an affair with his own sister], Samson is waiting for the perfect moment to worm his way into Dabula’s inner circle. And what are Dabula’s plans for Bhubesini? He doesn’t really care about the village. He harbours a lot of hatred for the people, especially the Ngubane clan, because of how badly they treated his mother while at the same time doing nothing to Sibindi. How far will he go to keep his power? He’d do anything and I do mean anything. Dabula also loves the attention from women that comes with being chief. You’re no stranger to Isibaya and its storylines though. I worked as a scriptwriter on the soapie from 2014 and the producers asked me to try my hand at acting. I laughed it off initially because I couldn’t picture myself as an actor. I’m used to being behind the scenes. They were persistent and I’m glad that they talked me into it – now I get to be the chief of Bhubesini. What’s been an eye-opener for you that you didn’t realise as a scriptwriter? Acting really isn’t as easy as it seems or people think it is. You don’t just show up and act out what is on the script. The cast study their characters to the smallest detail and that is so impressive.
Dabula is enjoying every minute of being chief.