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Meet the other Dumisani

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His name is Dumisani Mbebe. He gives a real meaning to the term ‘character’ in acting. There is such a vast difference between Dumisani the character in the Sopie Generations, and Dumisani the person.

In the Generations Sopie, ‘Mr. D’ is mean. He is horrible. He abuses his live-in girlfriend, ‘Khethiwe’;, both emotionally and physically. He portrays the abusive character such that it no longer character play, but the real personality. His acting looks so real such that audiences forget that he is actually acting.

It is very common for people to say to him: "Please go easy on Khethiwe, she does not deserve the cruelty you dishing to her".

Many of the people who make such comments do not even wait to hear his response. It is more important to them that they told him so.

Ironically, whenever we are together, we do not talk about his acting job. I never try to get a Generations scoop of what will happen to certain story lines in the Sopie. I avoid burdening Dumisani with Generations’ issues outside studio five in Auckland Park – SABC.

Even more so, Dumisani does not carry his character outside the Sopie. Outside the acting work, he is not an extension of the character. Instead, he is himself. He is the real Dumisani Mbebe.

Unlike the monster at Generations, the real Dumisani is humble. He is down to earth. He is loving and caring. He has traces of a gentleman, but more so – he is a guy next door. If you do not know that he is an actor in a very popular Sopie, he will not bring it to your attention. It is just not him.

He is just a definitive meaning of humility. He is a man with the inner touch of the self. He knows very well that his character is depended on his internal capacities and abilities, and the extent that he relates humanely to others.

"Ultimately we are all human" he tells me as an emphasis to how he remains grounded to simplicity. He says he has found a great teacher in his humble beginnings. Thus, he has always distinguished his ‘studio five’ (where Generations is shot at SABC); and when he is chilling with friends and meeting other people.

Perhaps the two are indeed compli-mentary: the easier one relates to people in general, the more respect and recognition one gets at the professional level. In fact, it is ordinary people who inspire greatness in acting – and other professions.

I asked him what his general philosophical outlook about life was. He responded authoritatively by saying: "NEVER! And I repeat: NEVER EVER feel sorry or apologetic about who you are; who you’ve grown to be; who you’re still going to grow to be. Generally, about your past, present, and future achievements". I am sure you do agree.

Dumisani constantly reflects on his life to remain on top of the game. He says to me that in the acting industry, there is an unwritten and yet such a well known rule: "You’re only as good as your last performance". Thus, what drives and make him excel is always trying to do better than his ‘last performance’.

It is a motto that he applies both at work and in the manner that he relates to other people. It follows that Dumisani’s ultimate ambition is to be a producer and own a film production company.

Given that his career has catapulted within a very short space of time, I am convinced that his dream of owning a film company will soon be a reality. ‘Mr. D’ has been acting for the last nine years. However, he did not get into acting because he has a six pack. He did so because he was able to balance his acting skills with a solid educational pursuit.

Dumisani has a Masters qualification in acting from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (Scotland). This was after he had earned a Diploma in Theatre from the University of Cape Town. He also holds a BA degree measuring in Psychology and English from Vista University at Port Elizabeth.

He earned international recognition as an actor from effectively playing the lead role in the world acclaimed movie Primeval. This was a movie based on the political upheavals in Burundi.

As your good Swazi ambassador, I asked him what he had to say to his Swazi fans, present and future: "quite soon, I’ll set my foot in the KINGDOM and may I get an opportunity to see everyone, including those who are not fans".

Ladies, please do not get your hopes too high. He is engaged to the gorgeous and equally humble and inspiring Mbali Maphumulo.

The vivacious Mbali plays Amira Mokoena in the drama ‘4 Play: Sex Tips for Girls’ which concluded last week on etv According to ‘Mr. D’ – "the wedding is imminent".

And guess what: I am invited!

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