Inxeba actor Bongile Mantsai scores lead in new local boxing film

A scene from 'Knuckle City' starring Freeman Sibanda and Bongile Mantsai.
A scene from 'Knuckle City' starring Freeman Sibanda and Bongile Mantsai.
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

After his impressive acting in Inxeba, TV star Bongile Mantsai admits that film roles have been coming in droves.

Mantsai, who also portrays the role of Mthunzi Mayisa in Scandal, has scored a lead role in a local boxing film called Knuckle City.

The film is directed by Jahmil Qubeka and is currently being shot in Mdantsane, East London.

Knuckle City is about the life of boxing in the Eastern Cape township.

Mantsai plays the lead role of Dudu Nyakama, a struggling boxer.

Bongile Mantsai shot to prominence after appearing on Inxeba.
Bongile Mantsai shot to prominence after appearing on Inxeba.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

"Dudu finds himself frustrated because promoters seem to be fond of the young boxers. He is 37-years-old and he feels that he still has it.

"His family owned a boxing club in Mdantsane and it was taken away. He is trying to get it back."

Mantsai said he was honoured to work with some of the respected boxing trainers in East London who are also featured in the film. The film sought to highlight the biggest problems in boxing where promoters make more money while boxers remain poor, he said.

"Despite such problems, young people in Mdantsane still want to be part of this sport and hope that they will be [boxing] stars one day."

In the film, he acts alongside Owen Sejake and Nomhle Nkonyeni, among others. Last year, Mantsai shot another film by Qubeka called Sew the Winter to my Skin.

The film, shot in rural Great Karoo region, is set in the 1950s. This epic existential adventure film chronicles the exploits of outlaw John Kepe and the people his escapades affected.

It features actors such as Zolisa Xaluva and Mandisa Nduna.

X