- Isibaya’s character, Fezile, while very popular with viewers is played by an actor who remains a mystery to many
- Andile Mxakaza has gone to great lengths to keep a clear separation between his role in the public eye and his personal life based on a decision he took at the beginning of his career
- He attributes his success to talent given by his creator, guidance of mentors, and hard work learning on the job
While conceding he certainly fits the description of celebrity, Andile Mxakaza still admits struggles with the mantle of fame being successful has put on his shoulders.
Thankful to both his God, and the mentors that have helped him grow as an actor in his hands-on lifelong learning, he said he made a conscious decision to keep to himself early on in his career in the hopes it would help his audience to separate their opinions about his job and the roles he plays, from who he grew up as.
Briefly.co.za learned that problems in his youth caused a rift between himself and his father, a problem he said he fixed when he turned 26 an action he says he is very grateful for today.
Opening up recently about his so-called “past life” in the townships he admits he was a bit of a player, describing himself as a “township hustler”.
"All I'm willing to share is there was an era where I was a model and a time before that when I was a curious teenager. My father and I didn't get along for the longest time because he thought I would end up as a thug due to my actions when I was younger. But, it was just a phase, a part in the story that ends with me finding myself and becoming who I've turned out to be."
Today he describes mending the rift with his family as one of the best decision he took in his life. Today at the age of 40 he revels in the joy he sees in them as they express pride in the man he has become. He said he loves that today he is able to enjoy the "blessing that is my father and mother".
Entirely self taught on the job. Mxakaza said he only started to believe in the talent his God-had gifted him with when veteran actors offered opinions which gave him the validation he needed to boost his confidence.
"I've learnt a lot. The most important lesson I've been taught is that an artist's love for his craft must be renewed everyday. I also have my mentors to thank. In fact, they made me. I am lucky to have worked with the people I have because they built the artist I've become."
He has said he is very keen to explore different roles and probably wouldn’t consider his career to be complete unless he managed to find a way to play certain roles he particularly craves. A "pastor, a gangster and a blind man" are those roles, although he doesn’t say if he is looking for them individually or all in one.
He also said a big part of his method is that he is always thinking about the roles and character he plays. "I realised that I was absolutely captured by acting when I couldn't stop thinking about how to improve. I would go jogging and think about my character,” he explained.
He sets high goals for himself and has even gone so far as to burn incense if he feels his creativity is blocked. “I realised I can do this even better than other actors in the industry, if I just continuously continued working on it. All want to give is my best."
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