Actor Mthandeni Mbambo said there are generous people in the acting industry.

The actor and a songwriter (36) from Empangeni, northern KZN, portrays Officer Thulani Sibiya on e.tv’s Durban Gen.

He said he is who he is today because of some of the people in the industry as they helped him realise his dream.

“They shaped me to become the person that I am today. I will always be grateful,” said Mthandeni.

He hailed veteran actor Bheki Mkhwane, the legendary playwright Mbongeni Ngema and Uzalo actor Simphiwe Majozi.

“Ngema mentored me when I was still in his academy, Mbongeni Ngema Committed Artist’s Academy. I was also cast in his theatre play Mbambatha-Pixley KaSeme in 2006 and Sarafina during a Nigerian tour,” he said.

Mthandeni said he also worked on Mkhwane’s production titled Have You Been Heard.

“Mkhwane took me to stay in his home for four days. He taught me a lot about the industry. He taught me how to behave as an artist and about exploitation. And in 2019 when I lived in Empangeni, Simphiwe took me to stay in his rented house in Durban. He is a true friend of mine. I will always be grateful,” said Mbambo.

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The actor said the small roles he got on shows such as Isibaya, Rockville, Uzalo, Ifalakhe and Task Force also trained him as an actor.

Mbambo was nominated in Simon Mabhunu Sabela KZN Film and Television Awards 2021 under the Best Film Actor category.

He said although viewers started to notice him on Durban Gen, he ventured into the industry years ago.

“I started acting on theatre productions such as Shosholoza the Musical, Stimela Sasezola, Long Way To Go, Seven Days of War and so on. I was a dancer in most productions. And acting in theatre was like a university for me because when I started acting on TV, it was not so difficult,” said Mbambo.

Mbambo’s dream is to give back to the community.

“There’s huge talent in our villages but the youth don’t know which doors to knock on for their talents to be recognised. So my dream is to assist the youth to show their talent on influential platforms,” said Mbambo.