Inkululeko's Abongile Salli advises youngsters that learning improves options
Actor Abongile Salli has encouraged younger, aspirant actors to prioritise their education as it is important for artists to ensure success in their craft.
Salli, 23, who plays Buhle on Mzansi Magic's Inkululeko in his first major TV gig, beat the obstacle of losing his mother when he was 14 to obtain a diploma in sports management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
He was born and bred in Khayelitsha and gave up his weekends when he was 16 to start working to support himself, even though his mother's former employers partly assisted him financially.
Salli emphasised the benefits of learning and having options.
He said that with an education, actors can market themselves properly, understand the terms of their contracts and avoid being exploited.
"I learnt a lot about marketing and branding during my studies, which are also useful in the acting career," he said.
Salli said he had always wanted to be an actor.
However, his mother's former employer encouraged him to study something different so he could have something to fall back on in the event that his acting dream did not shape up.
"I chose sport management and I fell in love with it," he said.
While studying, Salli was an extra in TV productions to be able to pay for his fees and to continue earning his own money.
Speaking of his first big break, Salli said he went for the auditions after multiple people suggested that he should go and try his luck.
After a month and five auditions, Salli was told he had got the part.
"It was like a dream come true because I wanted this so bad," he said.
He told Sunday World that, at first, shooting with the people he normally watched on TV was nerve-wracking, but he eventually enjoyed it.
Speaking of his character on the drama he said Buhle is a hustler from a poverty-stricken family.
"Buhle is not afraid to take part in criminal activities for money," he said.
Salli said he was hoping that this gig will help him get more lead roles and awards as his career progresses.