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Muvhango's leading man

By Sbusiso Shongwe | 2012-06-01 08:16:43.0

"I've grown in the role"

MUVHANGO'S leading man and one of the popular SABC2 soapie's longest-serving actors, Gabriel Temudzani, loves embracing the character of Chief Azwindini in Muvhango for sustaining the culture of the VhaVenda.

He is particularly impressed by the democratic nature of Azwindini - the chief of Thathe - whom he has been playing with aplomb for many years.

"The character has good intentions and a vision for his community, so he rules with democratic style," Temudzani explains.

"He does not make decisions on his own. There are counsellors who are his eyes and ears and that is what earns him the respect of his subjects, peers and detractors alike."

Temudzani points out that Azwindini's undoing is his short-sightedness. "This especially when it comes to other issues, like those concerning women," Temudzani says.

"In the show Chief Azwindini uses culture as an excuse to corner woman into his home. But there is a limit within culture itself. As much as he is a black man with that highly respected seat in the community, he has responsibilities. It is wrong to use culture to abuse one's rank, like chiefdom."

Temudzani has been "wearing the skin" of Azwindini for 12 years now and says during the early days of the show he was not certain for how long he would remain good at his craft - and do justice to the role - but, with time, it all seems to have worked out well.

The 32-year-old has featured in other shows such as the movies Diamond and Destiny and Night Drive With Winnie Mandela, and theatre productions that include The Dog and The Night of Horror, for which he won a Vita award.

Temudzini also took over from Shandukani Nesengani on the SABC2 magazine show La Familia, which celebrates the lives of families and their dynamics.