We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Gomora star Ayanda Daweti not your typical rural boy

Former village school chorister demonstrates versatility in new role

TV, stage and film actor Ayanda Daweti appears in Mzanzi Magic film Inhlanhla which premiers on October 22.
TV, stage and film actor Ayanda Daweti appears in Mzanzi Magic film Inhlanhla which premiers on October 22.
Image: Supplied

Gomora star Ayanda Daweti has transcended all conventional classification of a typical rural boy to become one of the rising TV stars.

The actor might have been raised in a rural setting where he was not exposed to acting but he knew that he belongs to the arts. Like most young people who grew up in the villages, Daweti also sang in school choirs in Tsolo, Eastern Cape.

It was after completing matric that he started acting in a community theatre group called Amathambo Endwe in Cape Town. The group did well performing at Arts Cape and making it to the Top 10 of Market Theatre’s Zabalaza Community Theatre Festival. It was only then that he decided to go study acting at Tshwane University of Technology.

Though he dropped out due to financial challenges, he continued with his studies at the Market Lab in Newtown taking Saturday classes. He further acquired more acting knowledge at Duma Ndlovu Acting Academy.

He said his dream was fulfilled when he landed a role in a film Okae Molao, which won a South African Film and Television Award (Saftas) in 2017.

“I grew up in a village singing and participating in different competitions. But somehow, I knew that I belonged to the arts. When I explored it, I did not know where I would end up. I did so because it felt good once I joined the theatre group. I five years i have been in the acting industry, I am grateful that I chose to do something that I love dearly and feel passionate about.”

Daweti has also scored a lead role in a local film Inhlanhla. The film is set to premier on Mzansi Magic on October 22 as part of the series of local movies showcasing refreshing talent.

The actor is looking forward to the movie being flighted and how the viewers will respond to his  attempt at speaking Tswana. In the film, he plays the role of a Tswana-speaking Uber driver who uses his car to benefit himself in mischievous ways.

“I am excited that the film will be on screen. Normally, I do not enjoy watching myself because I  criticise  myself too much. I challenged myself with this film and I insisted to the director on speaking in Setswana,  which is about 80% in the film. I love the idea of being versatile and not only known as a 'Xhosa-speaking actor'.

“The story revolves around an Uber driver who finds a bag accidentally left behind by a girl who caught his attention. He embarks on a series of misadventures as he desperately tries to return it to her. I enjoyed playing the character. In the film, the driver uses the car to do his own businesses including transporting thugs who want to commit robbery.”

The film also stars Bontle Serai, Zola Hashatsi, Mbalenhle Zakwe and Madibe Mahlatjie.

Daweti says acting in a comedy film for the first time was refreshing for him and he also enjoyed working with a cast and crew of young people.

“It was young people mostly youth from crew to the cast. They were all driven and dedicated to what they were doing. I worked with them for the first time but we had a lot of fun.”

Daweti is best known for his role in Scandal as Chumani, a role that showcased his unique acting skills and launched his name. After being with Scandal for couple of years, his contract ended in May. He was fortunate to quickly land another role of Sizwe in Gomora.

Apart from his acting skills which he can swiftly shift between TV, film and stage, Daweti is also a musician who is curving his own journey in the industry. He calls himself Tuckshop Bafanaz and has dropped two singles already. Before that, he featured in albums of artists like Mtee and has also done some studio work with Aubrey Qwana.

The outspoken actor who released his single Amadabi two months ago, defines his music as Igwijo Wave. While young people of his age go for popular genres, Daweti went for something that defines who he is and where he comes from. This is a sound that is born out of the music he grew up listening to during imigidi (traditional ceremonies) and in gospel music.

“It is just a combination African sound fused with R&B, traditional music styles. As someone who grew up in a village there is a lot of music that we were exposed to. I have recorded a lot of music but I am not ready to release an album. When it comes to composing music, my music talks about the development of the community and I also observe what happens around me and in the society.”

Fact File:

Favourate Actor: Warren Masemola

Favourate Music: Maskandi, Gospel and R&B

Favourate Artist: Shwi NoMtekhala

Favourate Movie: Jerusalema and Tsotsi

Favourate TV show: Whole Moja Love channel

Favourate Food: I eat everything

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.