Jesse Suntele making a lasting impression
Heart-throb Jesse Suntele is an unavoidable triple-threat running on high-power batteries and bolting up to hyper-speed stardom.
He is bulging out of his tight-muscle T-shirt, paired with ripped skinny jeans and floral Vans sneakers ,when we meet.
His idea of beating the dreaded Monday blues is penning blissfully sweet lyrics.
He shares that on an afternoon drive to his interview with Time Out, his creative juices were flowing with new music.
Thanks to his exceptional and diverse talents, Suntele has made a lasting impression in the one year he has been on the entertainment scene.
The 24-year-old is an actor, presenter and rapper, although he shies away from the triple-threat tag line.
"I think that word is tossed around a lot these days. Everyone can act, rap and present," Suntele says coyly.
"I consider myself an entertainer as a whole. But I guess to a certain extent I can't escape being a triple-threat."
We were first introduced to Suntele last year when he won the second season of BET reality show Top Actor Africa. He went on to score a huge presenting gig on lifestyle and entertainment magazine show BET A-List on BET Africa.
Suntele is currently the only male star on the show with an all-female presenting team of Nomzamo Mbatha, Jessica Nkosi and Nandi Madida.
Television viewers got a surprise this autumn when they met J-Flo - Suntele's hip-hop alter ego - on the latest season of Vuzu Amp's reality music show The Hustle.
Having already won a reality competition show prior to The Hustle, Suntele says he was more than prepared for the backlash that followed.
"I knew immediately when I joined The Hustle that the first response was going to be, 'you are already acting and you have done this before, what are you doing here? Give others a chance'," Suntele recalls.
"That's exactly what I got. Whether I won or not, my intention was to convince people that I'm not taking a chance on this rap thing just because I'm on TV.
I have been rapping for a very long time. Everyone that knows me from high school knows that I'm a rapper first. They are surprised to see me on TV acting and presenting.
"My music is my first love, but it just happened that on my journey acting came first and presenting came second."
Suntele was booted off the hip-hop show after making the top seven. He continues to work on music, although he reveals that he's not ready to share it with the world yet. "At the end of the day, The Hustle proved to be more difficult because I didn't make it as far as I did on Top Actor," Suntele says.
Earlier this year, Suntele made his thrilling acting debut on Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen. He played Natasha Thahane's cop love interest, who is revealed to be a serial killer in a dark twist.
With his perfectly chiselled jaw line, big guns and pouty smile, Suntele quickly gained the moniker "Officer Bae" from adoring fans.
Suntele is currently single and his focus is on his budding career. "I'm not seeing anyone at the moment. It's complicated. After splitting from my last girlfriend we are still very close.
"I'm friends with a lot of my ex-girlfriends. I don't do messy break-ups. I'm not focused on relationships.
"I feel like I need to be ready before I delve into a new one. I love a girl who is funny. Physically, I like my woman thick."
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