He’s a singer, dancer, and poet and Masoja Msiza’s versatile roles make him a great actor too Uzalo’s Masoja Msiza (55) who plays a villain and gangster which the viewers love to hate in Uzalo, is in real life, a soft-spoken family man.
He is completely divorced from the ways of his character, Nkunzi. He is an artist to the core and has dipped himself in different types of art – he acts, dances and does poetry among other things.
Masoja uses artistic platforms available to him to speak out against gender-based violence (GBV). It’s an issue he is passionate about and he believes the government is too lenient in punishing perpetrators.
“The sloppiness of the law makes people take advantage because they know nothing is going to happen. The punishment is not as harsh as it should be. People disregard the law. That is why there is a story of a woman who was raped by eight men and they told her that even if she were to report them, nothing would happen to them.
“As a social commentator, it is my responsibility to call out the men who abuse women and to let women know there are men who are for them. The damage that we as men do is incomprehensible,” Masoja said.
He strongly believes it’s important for men to go to church with their partners.
“Churches are full of women and children. Young boys grow up not going to church and not having those values instilled in them. Then they grow up witnessing their fathers abusing their mothers and think that is OK.
“If we raise them well enough from a tender age, this violent behaviour is curbed and does not continue into the next generation. Men need to stop looking at women as objects,” he added.
Masoja has acted in a number of South African productions, among them Isidingo, A Place Called Home and Scandal!. And he beats himself on the chest for playing the great Zulu warrior Shaka a Zulu, in a production touring Scottland. He was also the host poet at the Windybrow Theatre in Johannesburg between n 2001 and 2010.
Being an entertainer has always been in his blood. While other children were in a creche, Masoja was looked after by two elderly women along with other kids.
“Back in the day, there were no schools for children with disabilities, so these women used to look after those kids. I can vividly remember that from the age of three to six years old, I was entertaining those kids during the school day until I went to the school when I was seven,” he said.
He began recording his album, Time to Rhyme, in 2018 and it was released in July, and it is one such project he is very proud of.
He also loves playing Nkunzi in Uzalo.“As an actor, if I can portray a character that is not like me, but people believe the character, that means I am doing a good job. I have been fortunate to have versatile roles. I’m able to hone my craft. I attend the actors’ workshops because I want to improve.
“I always want to be better than I was in my last role. The similarities Nkunzi and I have are being go-getters, never giving up and being protective of our families,” he added.