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Primo Baloyi gets TV acting breakthrough after a series of rejections

Digital content creator in dreamland with role in Mzansi Magic's Code 13

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Primo Baloyi talks more about his next TV gig.
Primo Baloyi talks more about his next TV gig.
Image: Supplied.

Primo Baloyi, renowned for his funny social media sketches, has finally got his TV acting breakthrough after years of rejection mainly because he's a content creator.

Real name Ofentse Baloyi, the son of soccer legend Lucas Radebe, has been cast in his breakout TV role of Veli in Mzansi Magic new drama series Code 13.

The acting gig comes four years after the 31-year-old star launched his public career on social media during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“This opportunity is huge because many doors have been closing on me based on my social media status. Producers would tell me that they were avoiding hiring figures on social media or even influencers because of the big debate happening in the entertainment industry,” he said. 

“Luckily, there are a few people who really believe in my talent despite the platform. It’s amazing how something I saw as just fun has led me to this destiny and I plan to become a revered director and producer who might work with the Guy Ritchie and Tyler Perry of the world. I’m aiming for big things, I want to one day write, direct and act out in my production.”

He will share the screen with industry titans Zolisa Xaluva, Lunathi Mampofu and Zikhona Bali when the crime drama premieres on April 14.

Image: Supplied.

“I know people are going to love Veli aka Veja. He’s a very dope and authentic guy who doesn’t try too hard to be funny and I feel like he’s going to be very relatable to a lot of people. This is not a small role like the ones I’ve had before, which makes me so proud," Baloyi said.

“Getting this opportunity felt divine, it feels like everything that I’ve done in my life... all the writing and directing of primary school plays to drama classes has culminated to this very moment, this type of life that’s currently happening is one I was not expecting.”

Known by his other moniker Primo9teen, dubbed from his Bidvest Wits soccer jersey, he is determined to grow his acting footprint.

“I didn’t think I got the role because I wasn’t told formally that I got it. When I went into that auditioning room, I brought extra outfits just in case. I needed to change into what I thought the character needed. I thought I was going to workshop a character,” he said. 

“So, when I walked into the room I realised it was a table read, not an audition. I found myself standing next to legends. I went through a moment where I was asking myself: ‘There’s no way this is happening?!’ 

“I grew up watching Zolisa on Generations as Jason, and to find myself 10 to 15 years later acting alongside a disciplinarian such as him, who has embodied numerous household roles, inspires me to breathe life into Veja.”

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