Khulu - born to act but he just hates TV
He has been in the entertainment field for eight years but not much has been written about the chirpy but humble Khulu Skenjana, so I was in for a treat.
"I haven't had much to talk about but I feel I have something exciting to say now," he said, referring to his role in the new movie Zama Zama.
Born in Senaoane, Soweto, Mkhulu Malusi Manqoba Skenjana, 30, prefers simply being called Khulu. He was introduced to local TV through commercials. His first big break was a head-ache powder advert in which he played a taxi driver.
He worked on the ad with US director Sunu Gonera, who linked him to a lucrative deal to do a film called Pride in the US.
"At the time I thought this was where I wanted to be."
Skenjana, a xhosa gets versatile roles since he speaks seven of the 11 official languages.
This has landed him cameo roles in a variety of TV programmes like Entabeni, Holla Mpintshi, Jozi H, Rhythm City, The Mating Game and Binnelanders, to name a few.
Surprisingly he has never studied acting.
"I learnt to act by observing people. I would watch my favourite actors, like John Kani and John Travolta, and learn their lines by watching their movies many times".
Most people will recall Jerusalema as his big break. For him it was the first time his mother started taking his acting career seriously.
"I had dropped out of studying for my Diploma in Jazz Voice, quit a 9-to-5 corporate job and my parents weren't happy at all about my career choice".
His career on the big screen blossomed thereafter with his first international film Invictus and a for-DVD-film called Sniper Reloaded. Khulu has also landed roles in local films Skin and 48 Hours where he was also the associate producer.
The talented actor is working on developing himself behind the scenes as a filmmaker and is in the process of registering his production company.
His latest film, Zama Zama, will be released on August 24. "The film is a beautiful, humane story about things that happen in the world of Ozama (illegal miners)."
His role is Manto, the villain and head of the Zamas. Khulu stars alongside Lindeni Nkosi who plays Malcolm, a former miner who owns a mining company.
Malcolm's brother is played by Tsotsi star Presley Chweneyagae who acts as Joseph, an illegal miner or "Zama Zama".
Zama Zama revolves around two estranged brothers, Malcolm and Joseph, from different sides of the world and how they eventually unite for a better cause. Manto is the guy you would love to hate who creates tension and excitement in the film.
Things to know about Khulu:
l He studied music and is a great jazz musician.
l He is in a cricket team of Generations stars featuring "Senzo" Thami Mngqolo, "Jason" Zolisa Xaluva, "MJ" Anga Makubela and Psyfo, aka Sipho Ngwenya.
l He hates watching TV.
l Was taught how to cook by filmmaker Teddy Mattera.
l Loves wearing black or maroon nail polish.