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    Ex-homeless actor Fanele Zulu credits late Big Nuz member Mampintsha

    Durban-born actor Fanele Zulu has credited the late Big Nuz member Mampintsha for giving him a big break in the entertainment industry.

    Known for having roles in Durban Gen and his recent gig with Netflix’s Uthando Lwethu.

    Zulu speaks about his journey as he wanted to be in the spotlight but he really struggled to make it in the music scene until Mampintsha took note of his talents.

    He opens up and says when he started looking for work in the entertainment industry, he used to record videos of himself singing.

    “I had known about music all my life, but Mampintsha—may his soul rest in peace—was the first person to give me a shot at it. Mampintsha communicated with me after Bonga Mazibuko shared my video and he discovered me online,” he told Drum.

    “He told me what he wants from me during our conversation. I agreed and signed a contract with him.”

    According to Zulu Black, Mampintsha used to take him to all his shows, and they would share a stage, a privilege that led to Durban residents first became aware of him and his music.

    “I had the opportunity to collaborate with Prince Bulo and Tira, and I even worked with both on the soundtrack of the movie Uthando Lwethu. Mampintsha used to tell me that I would one day be a big deal in music and that he believed in me,” he added.

    “It was terrifying to lose someone like Mampintsha because he always had my back, even when we were performing. He would join me when I told him I was nervous about performing in front of a lot of people, and I would have the confidence to finish the show.”

    Speaking about the support as far as his career choice is concerned, Zulu reveals that his parents didn’t want him to focus on acting.

    “My parents did not want me to pursue this, so I was unable to return home. In 2020, I hustled for auditions for three months on the streets; I couldn’t go home because it was lockdown, and we couldn’t travel,” he added.

    “I decided to return home when one of the taxi drivers advised me to try again later because nothing was happening. He informed me that it was unsafe to be homeless.

    “I got a call to join Durban Gen when I got home; they wanted to audition former AFDA students.

    “While I was on Durban Gen in 2020, I ran into Zuko Nodada, the director of Uthando Lwethu. I thought he was just talking when he asked me to sing and if I wanted to be in the movie he was making.

    “I received a call from him a year later, and this is my first lead role. I am even more thankful to God for the chance to do something I enjoy. I finally get to do what I have always wanted to do, which is tell stories.”

    Main Image: Fanele Zulu/SNL24

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