GENERATIONS – The Legacy star, Duma Mnqobi (29), has been preparing for fame since he was young. He started acting when he was in high school doing drama. He later enrolled for a Bachelor of Science degree and later music but he dropped out.
“What set me back was that I kept going in and out of depression. I had no choice but to put my studies on hold,” he shares.
“After my second year of studying for a BSc degree, I dropped out. I could no longer afford to finish some of my third-year modules. That is when I started to make my way back to performing professionally again.”
In 2004, the KwaZulu-Natal-born actor then decided to move to Johannesburg to pursue his dream of being in showbiz.
After he had gotten his first job on TV, he decided to go back to school and enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he studied jazz and pop music. In his second year, he decided to change to a BA in music and drama.
Duma, who is also a musician, says while waiting for his break, he was selling his CDs from his bag and singing at some gigs.
He was also doing some theatre work. Lady luck visited him and he got his first job as a presenter on e.tv’s kids show, Craze, followed by a stint on Isidingo. After some time, he went through a dry spell in his career and he was forced to go back to KwaZulu-Natal.
“I always say to people that breaking into the entertainment industry may be difficult, but staying in it is much harder. The politics of the entertainment industry have not changed in the 13 years that I have been in it,” he opens up.
“My hardships were not so much getting into this industry but more about staying in it. I got my fair share of ‘no’s’ in the industry and I still get them now and again. Coming back from those, takes a lot of practice.” The single father of an eight-year-old boy says he decided to come back to Johannesburg and in a couple of months, he was on Isibaya shooting a gun alongside Sdumo Mtshali. After Isibaya ,he joined Zabalaza where he got a cameo role.
He then auditioned for a role on Generations and was told that his audition was good but he didn’t look like a drunkard. He then applied for a cast reading job in the show but was rejected.
A month and a half went by and one day, the casting director told him that they were looking for Jack Mabaso’s son. Luckily, he got the role.
“I am starting to like playing Bafana because through him I get to be the lawyer I once wanted to be” he says.
He shares that in the cast, he is closest to Moopi Moothibeli, who plays Smanga. “I feel at ease with him,” he explains. On matters of the heart, Duma says he is in a relationship and maybe soon he might be married and have another little one.