The Young Actor from Khayelitsha

Blazon Magazine had a chat with rising star and MTV Shuga: Down South actor, Malibongwe Mdwaba about his career sand the year 2018

Who is Malibongwe Mdwaba?

Malibongwe is a young kid from Khayelitsha, Cape town. I’m a son and last born of two to my parents. I’m someone who strongly believes that the world owes you nothing; if you want something, go out and get it! I’m a social activist and voice-over artist.

Why Acting? 

Acting started back in Sunday school. I would join in stage plays in Church and back then I didn’t know it will end up being a career. When I went into High School, I started seeing that although I was not in Art school I used to do activities that would help mould the acting skill. I always thought I was going to be a pilot. When I was a young kid I remember in graduation I said I want to become a pilot. The universe should me that pilots are going to be flying me around the country, not me driving people around, so it turned around and Acting was the loudest calling. I’m looking forward to playing a pilot sometime in the future though.

Has your family background played any role in your career? 

I think I’m really blessed with my family. They understood it to a point that it became second nature to them. I didn’t need to explain to them much of how the industry works, coming home late, not being around. They have been really supportive.

What role is education playing in your career? 

It is something that I advocate for. As much as it has become an industry where training and education is not of importance, I feel it is necessary that you get a form of training, whether formal or informal. It’s a very dangerous industry if you are not aware of how things work, terms, contracts and all.  You need to know the kind of language that is used in the industry.

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I’ll be doing my Honors and also plan on doing my Masters later. I think I’m so blessed to a point where my studying and acting always work together. I remember when I was shooting Ubudoda and Shuga, I would do school work on set. It’s also about understanding that I need to work extra hard than others in the class because I have a job and I also need to secure my career while I’m still in the academic space.

How did the MTV Shuga role come about? 

Mtv Shuga has been a beautiful journey even though it just got started. I saw a post on Twitter about open auditions and thought of joining. Open auditions can be a nightmare, many people show up for it, long lines and all. The day before the audition there was so much negative energy in terms of should I go or not, and if I was not really a strong person I would have conformed to those energies. I just said to myself ‘Malibongwe you know why you came to Johannesburg and remember the family is rooting for you back home’. It was a very cold morning and there was already a queue at 4:30am when I got there. I entered the audition room at 11am after waiting for so long, but looking back it was all worth it. I got in through the open auditions and I managed to get the lead role.

What other activities are you involved in a part from acting and studying? 

I do lots of social activism, lots of leisure time, church and gym. I also have an organisation I’m running.

What’s Indibano the Encounter all about? 

Indibano the encounter is an organisation I founded in September this year. I remember sitting in my room and thinking about what my mom taught us that God blesses you so that you can bless others; it should never end with you, you should always transfer the blessing to other people.  I just kept on writing, drawing up plans, speakers, refreshment time dates and then I pitched the idea to the Head of school and I ended up calling it Indibano. It is a platform bridge the gap between emerging creatives and professional creatives in the industry. There is this feeling of us and them, those still growing up and those already in the industry and the organisation aims to disrupt that notion. It is a community of artists that comes together to discuss issues and things that people should look out for, especially for those just entering the industry.

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What will you say is a key ingredient to be a success in the Film and TV industry?

It’s definitely believing in yourself and understanding that the world owes you nothing. Immersing yourself in your journey, your lane and your pace. Once you understand your journey and what you stand for, it becomes easy to navigate yourself in life.

Any productions we should look forward to seeing you in 2019? 

2019 is in God’s hands! Mtv Shuga premieres in February and it’s going to be a huge deal for me because it’s the biggest platform I’ve been a part of and I’m looking to the public meeting my character. I’m also doing my Honors next year so it’s going to be quite a blessed and busy year. 2018 was nothing short of many blessings.

What can you say about the year 2018?

Blessings! Full! Content! I was so full, my cup runs over. The year has been absolutely great, not the easiest year, emotionally and psychologically draining but has been a blessing.

Images Courtesy: AOT Photography

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