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Quintessential SA Man – Jesse Suntele

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Jifa Azumah

Jesse Suntele aka J-flo also dubbed as ‘Officer Bae’ by the ladies of Mzansi is quite the Quintessential Man and if you didn’t know you must ‘Aks sumbhady’!

An all round entertainer who’s rise to fame came when he won the second season of BET’s reality competition Top Actor Africa, in 2016. He studied sound engineering at the Academy of Sound Engineering and later changed professions after he realised his passion for acting. Join us as we get to know the quadruple threat in depth!

 If you were to play yourself in a movie, what would your character be like?

“He would be the type of character to over think and over analyse everything, to find a deeper meaning behind it all. At the same time, he would be cool, calm, collected, slow to anger, and happy-go-lucky”.

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You Graduated in Sound Engineering, how did you then end up in the acting sector?

“I’ve always loved acting, but it came to me as a career while I was studying. I auditioned for and shot commercials in my spare time to make extra money and once I got a taste of set life/TV, I never looked back,” he says.

 

In 2016 you won BETs Top Actor, how did you feel, and did you think you would win?

I knew I COULD win, and that’s the difference, if I didn’t win, I wouldn’t have been too disappointed, it wouldn’t have taken away from what I believe was my potential.

The fact that I did win came as both an achievement I had worked hard for and a surprise.

I knew in that moment my life wouldn’t be the same. My mom was there; She cried. It was a lot,” he explains.

On Mzansi Magic’s ‘The Queen’ you played a Policeman/ Serial killer. How do you put Jesse aside and tap into character?

“I was lucky enough to have producers and directors who helped me with research material. I watched some pretty intense and interesting documentaries about some local serial killers and the inner workings of some of their minds”.

You made it to the top 6 on Vuzu Amps ‘The Hustle’. J-Flo drop us an 8 so we know it’s real ha-ha.

I could but you would have to put a copy-write on this interview for anyone who reads my lyrics,” he laughs.

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You’re an Actor, Rapper, Model and Presenter. Your love for being an entertainer is evident, how do you manoeuvre between all 4 aspects of life?

It’s easy when you love all those aspects. It doesn’t feel like work or anything difficult. Time is the most difficult aspect of balancing it all, finding time isn’t easy so I rarely get to spend a few days on ONE of those.

I must split my days between an hour or two here and an hour or two there etc”, says Jesse.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?   

 I don’t have challenges, I have learning curves. The most difficult thing I’ve had to learn so far is how to expose my skills to the world and how to find a platform where I can do my thing, and everybody gets to see it”.

Years from now when people think of Jesse Suntele, what do you want to be remembered for?

“I want to be remembered as the man who came and changed things for the better. In people’s lives. In my industry. In the world and then left,” he said.

What key elements inspire you most about Jay Z and Denzel Washington, that you would embody on yourself?

Jay Z has an incredible business acumen. By doing what he does, he also teaches us that we don’t have to spend our lives doing one single thing, DIVERSIFY.

Denzel has an incredible passion for everything he does, he teaches how to love life and everything in it and to pursue your dreams relentlessly”.

The future is looking mighty bright for you we might need blinders, what projects are you dying to work on next?

I’m falling more and more in love with making music, and I’m extremely excited for what my projects will hold for me. I’m also gunning for your local big screens soon enough”, says Jesse.

 

 

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