After a five year hiatus from the television business to pursue entrepreneurship and start a family, actor Mzwandile Ngubeni is back to his first love and has already unnerved some audiences as his new role Elvis Baloyi on the fourth season of 1Magic’s The River.
It has only been six days since the viewers of the telenovela were introduced to Elvis (played by Ngubeni), a pilot who chartered the helicopter ride that was shot down on the show’s third season finale episode leading to the death of Tumi – and already Elvis’ fearlessness to tackle Lindiwe ‘Madlabantu’ Dikana (played by Sindi Dlathu) has many glued to their screens.
“It’s definitely different being back on TV but my heart is happy. To return on screen, I did what I think every actor should be doing, go back to the floor, take acting lessons – it’s like driving and if you haven’t done it in a while you need a refresher course. I took the necessary steps to prepare and get into characterisation.
“The character I play is a pilot, who possesses sick traits of toxic masculinity. Elvis is like that guy who was not admired by chicks in school and then grows up to be accomplished, yet yearns for what he couldn’t have back in school,”
Watch Mzwandile Ngubeni on The River (S4) every weekday on 1Magic (DStv channel 103) at 20:00 CAT.
The last time audiences caught a glimpse of Ngubeni was in 2016 when he played Vuyo Vilakazi in eTV drama Umlilo. He started his television career in 1994 when he was first a presenter on a youth infotainment talk show Word Power that was broadcast on TV2. Over the years he has done it all from presenting shows such as Youth Expressions, Spirit Sundae, Now Or Never and variety of award ceremonies including Crown Gospel, SAFTAs, SAMAs and METROs to acting in soapies including Isidingo, Backstage and Generations, local dramas Justice For All, Taxi Ride and Intersexions 2 while also starring as a lead role in an international feature film In Dessert And Wilderness (2001). His experience also includes skills as a voice over artist, motivational speaker, event host and organisational facilitator.
In 2012, Ngubeni’s pursuit to grow as a marketing and communications expert saw him register his own business Mazothe Media, a company that uses different platforms such as radio, audio visual and industrial theatre to create innovative marketing opportunities for businesses while also offering executive facilitation.
Ngubeni says he paused his acting career to further his business as he yearned to start a family of his own and needed to be able to “afford the costs of the family package that comprise of a mom, dad, kids and a house”.
“Being back on TV made me realise the game has changed, its digital, fast paced and about more that just acting but also about doing more outside for yourself as an actor like marketing has become very important, back then we didn’t focus on that and we just went to parties and work only. There is now a strategy behind the game which is beautiful’,
Watch Mzwandile Ngubeni in action as Elvis Baloyi every weekday at 20:00 CAT on the fourth season of The River only on 1Magic (DStv channel 103).