Abdul Khoza (34) continues to leave an indelible mark with his dynamic performances on Television; now he is finally receiving his flowers with his first-ever “DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards” nomination, for ‘Favourite Actor’. He speaks to “Blacklight” about his illustrious career.
Compiled by: Thanduxolo ‘Thandz’ Buti
Main image: Supplied
Abdul has played some of the most iconic roles on TV; Two-Step on Intersexions, Qaphela Ngwenya on Isibaya and Nqobizitha “Nqoba” Zulu on The Wife, which recently secured him his first ‘Favourite Actor‘ nomination for the 2022 DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards.
The actor believes this nomination secures his position as one of the most respected actors of this generation. “This means that I am growing in my understanding of my field and that hard work really does pay off,” he tells Blacklight.
Since winning season two of Class Act, which offered him a golden opportunity to study at the New York Film Academy, Khoza has shown an impressive trajectory as an actor. Having served in the National Defense Force and a stint as a firefighter at the eThekwini Fire department, Khoza made a bold decision to pursue acting full-time. And now, he is one of the busiest actors in SA and a South African Television and Film Award (SAFTA) award-winning actor.
Abdul is currently enjoying the popularity of his current show, the Showmax smash hit The Wife, where he plays the flamboyant Nqoba. “Nqoba is relatable because he is honest and does not sugarcoat anything,” he says about the character. “He doesn’t waste time expressing himself, whether good or bad. He also has a good sense of humour, and an over-the-top sense of style makes him stand out.”
Blacklight: The Wife has proven to be a great success and is one of the first South African shows to pull in big numbers on a TV streaming service. As someone whose career was launched on prime time television, what are your feelings about the TV streaming services culture?
Abdul Khoza: I believe we are creating better opportunities for our local talent to be seen and recognised by the rest of the world. We are giving our local content a chance to be part of the global film industry by sharing our local stories with the masses in our own language and style.
BL: You have always been famous only for your work; did you make a conscious decision earlier in your career to make your craft the centre of attention?
AK: I never planned that. I am a private person, [and I am] more comfortable sharing my work than my personal life. I always want to keep some of myself to myself and my loved ones.
BL: The world is rapidly changing, for good and for bad. How do you ensure that you continue to thrive during this tumultuous period?
AK: I am grateful, and I absolutely love what I do. I pray for better days and give my all when I get an opportunity to do what I love. I also constantly surround myself with loved ones and those who mean the most to me.
BL: Social media has become a big machine that makes and breaks our stars. How do you approach the platform and still protect your mental health?
AK: I am a father of two beautiful daughters, so on any [social media] platform, I approach it as a father first. It helps me choose better content and to consider what I post. Also, I know that I am a role model that has to be responsible, even off-camera.
BL: How do you stay centered so that you can still perform at your best in all spheres of your life?
AK: I have always used a lot of my martial arts discipline to help me deal with many things in life. My parents alone taught me to respect every person I meet or come across in life. And also, my family and [close] circle are very loving people who support me in all I do.
BL: What advice would you give the black child struggling to find direction and purpose during these times?
AK: Be patient very with yourself and your talent. Growth is gradual, and life is a long journey, so treat it like a marathon. If you have love and passion for what you do, no one can stop you!
Catch Abdul on The Wife, available for streaming on Showmax.