Born and bred in South Africa`s second largest township Mdantsane, East London Thobani Mseleni says he got his break five years into the entertainment industry. He reveals that it was just a matter of being patient. “We are being auditioned by casting directors. If they don’t see you at that time, you must never question your talent or yourself. Just know that it was not yet your time”, he says.
Playing a major role in an international award winning movie called “INXEBA” The Wound, was one of Mseleni`s achievements this year. Portraying the character of Babalo in the movie, Mseleni describes the experience of working with the South African film director John Trengove as really amazing. “It`s an experience I can`t describe. It was nice working with the guy,” he says. “Everyone made everything easy by working together. I am not really surprised by all the awards we have been scooping oversea”, he adds.
Mseleni relocated to Johannesburg in 2009 to pursue his acting career. He featured as an extra on Generations for many years before he got his first major screen acting role as Bhutana in second season of the SABC1 drama series Intersexions in 2013.
He has appeared on popular shows like Hiest, Matatiele, 90 Plain Street, Gold Giggers, The Queen, Moferefere Lenyalong, Single Guys, Swart Water, Inkaba and starred as a guest on various television productions.
BEING JACK OF ALL TRADES
Not only an actor, but Mseleni is also a singer, script writer, motivational speaker and the founder of Thobani Mseleni Entertainment. Mseleni argues that he does not have a hard time juggling all these activities. “If you are passionate about something you will make time. It`s really not a train smash”, he says. However, Mseleni admits that his passion lies more in acting, which is where he is currently focusing most of his energy.
Presently, Mseleni is shooting “The Imposter” which airs on Sundays 8pm on channel 161 Mzanzi Magic. The actor says he will make his debut on 19 November until the last episode of this drama series. “The Imposter” is a product of Ferguson Films, who are popular producers behind shows such as Rockville, Igazi and Mzanzi Magic`s popular telenovela, The Queen.
With a life mission to change people`s lives, give back, make his mother happy and provide for his family, the actor says Thobani Mseleni Entertainment is doing very well. According to Mseleni the company specializes in artist management, motivational talks and supplies actors and extras to various television productions, after they have undergone the relevant talent development programmes.
A Supply Chain Management professional Xolani Nyaqela, made his first appearance on the popular SABC1 soapie Isidingo in May, where he played the parole officer called Sfiso Dlezi. This happened after he enrolled for Thobani Mseleni Entertainment workshops. “I have always wanted to act, to be in the creative space in the industry. I am one of Thobani`s success stories as I met him through his acting workshops”, says Nyaqela.
Mseleni has recorded a song with Phelo Bala in the past, but had to pause his music due to his acting commitments. He says he plans to focus on his music next year.
WELL WISES FOR MATRICULANTS
A 2005 matriculant, Mseleni wishes the 2017 grade 12s the best of luck as they started their final examinations last week. He swears by the words “the essence of reward is patience. Be patient, you will be rewarded”. “Those who fail commit suicide. It`s not the end of the world. They are given so many opportunities to redo their matric. We never had those opportunities back then”, he says. “Be patient the only person that will reward you is yourself, and God will help you in the process”, he adds.