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INTERVIEW: Touching Base With Rising Uzalo Star Ntokozo TK Dlamini

We recently caught up with Uzalo actor Ntokozo Dlamini, who plays the part of the villainous Mastermind Maphumulo on the country’s highest rated show. Check out the full exclusive interview

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Ntokozo Mastermind Dlamini Exclusive interview

Ntokozo Dlamini has secured a cosy spot inside millions of South African homes, inside which we invite him as the vile and troubled Mastermind Maphumulo on SABC 1’s Uzalo. Although the 24 year old Pietermitzburg born and bred actor is acing his role on the popular telenovela, he couldn’t differ more from Mastermind if we dug harder for hints. Instead, Ntokozo beams with ambition, humility and charm. We recently caught up with him. Read on


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Ntokozo as Mastermind on Uzalo. *Image courtesy of Uzalo

QuenchSA: So tell us about your role on Uzalo. How did it come about?

Ntokozo: I auditioned like everyone else and got shortlisted and then after the callbacks, I got a call saying that I got the part.  I actually had originally auditioned for another role for the show,  but they felt I was good to go for the role of Mastermind…

QuenchSA: Mastermind does some morally questionable stuff. Is there a way that you personally relate to him?

Ntokozo: I’d like to think me and Mastermind are two totally different people in terms of morals and principles, as much as we both share passion and both love for family. I am not someone who gets ruthless and is willing to do anything for a quick buck.

QuenchSA: You had to return to KZN for this production. How does it feel going back home and being based in KZN as a working actor?

Ntokozo: It is amazing! It feels good to be able to go home to family every weekend. Coming back to KZN was fantastic for my part. Everyone is happy…I am happy. I am closer to home, the family is happy.

QuenchSA: Uzalo is one of the country’s biggest shows right now. Not only in terms of viewership, but it’s always trending. These days if you are trending, you’ve made it. How does it feel being part of a show with this magnitude of success and exposure?

Ntokozo: It’s amazing hey! A lot of shows have graced the 8:30 pm slot and none of them have received the kind of reception that we’ve received from the people. People are loving it. The response from people when you walk into a Mall is great. So creatively, it proves that people are watching the show and appreciate the work that we do. When you meet people on the road and they tell you how much they love you…

Ntokozo Mastermind Dlamini

He appreciates fan love! *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

QuenchSA: Speaking of fans. Any weird fan experiences with those? We’ve heard things can get rather hectic…

Ntokozo: There are always people that love you but have a weird way of showing it! I went to an Ukhozi FM event two weeks ago and it was so crazy. People jumped on my car and nearly ripped off my side mirrors. As much as they love you, sometimes it gets out of hand if not controlled.

QuenchSA: What excites you the most about your job – being an actor and being in the public eye?

Ntokozo: I don’t really care about being in the public eye. It’s just that I am passionate about acting and I have always been. It’s just… doing something that you love and being compensated for it, you know? Money wise…being paid for it. So it doesn’t feel like I am working.

QuenchSA: But if you were not an actor, what would you be doing?

Ntokozo: I would be in radio and I would also do presenting. Those are things I see myself doing in the near future.

QuenchSA: You have already listed those on your Twitter bio as some things you do. Do you do of them already? And also, what were you up to before Uzalo came along?

Ntokozo: No, I am not doing anything now. But I am also a voice over artist, I’ve done a couple of voice overs for certain radio stations and ads. Before that I did Soul City, a cameo on Rhythm City and Single Girls

Aware of sex symbol status. *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

Aware of sex symbol status. *Image: Facebook/Ntokozo TK Dlamini

QuenchSA: A lot of people regard you as a sex symbol. How do you feel about that?

Ntokozo: (Laughs) I am grateful about that. I don’t know…I do feel sometimes they exaggerate a bit. But I do appreciate the love man, and I try to get back as much as I can. As much as you can’t tweet to everyone and you can’t reply to every message because you get hundreds and hundreds of messages everyday so there’s no way you can reply to everyone. But I do try to reply and just thank a few people here and there when I can. When I do meet up with people, I do take the compliment and I do say thank you and I do appreciate the love.

QuenchSA: Let’s represent them then. They want to know, is Ntokozo taken?

Ntokozo: (Laughs). I am not taken but I am not available either.

QuenchSA: Ouch! Moving along. What wouldn’t you do as an actor in the name of art?

Ntokozo: I feel as an actor you shouldn’t have boundaries because that would be limiting myself in certain roles. When you are an actor you are not playing yourself, you are playing a different character. So when you are given a certain character, run with it. There’s no character I wouldn’t play. I am for growing as a performer. I would take any role that’s given to me, make alterations to the role to suit me as well. But I don’t think I have any restrictions right now.

QuenchSA: …Including sex and nudity?

Ntokozo: Those are some of the things that have happened on the show. I’ve done sex scenes on Uzalo. It’s something as a performer…you will do certains things like that.

QuenchSA: Doesn’t it get awkward though?

Ntokozo: Well, it does get awkward. Especially when you share no chemistry with the person. But luckily I’ve been given phenomenal actresses to work  with and they are doing a pretty good job.

QuenchSA: Nice. Which local show would you like to star in and whose role would you snatch?

Ntokozo:  (Grins) I’d like to be on Two And A Half Men…

QuenchSA: Interesting (Nicely dodged). Which role though?

Ntokozo: Playing Ashton Kutcher’s character. Or they’d have to write me a new character! I actually see myself doing international stuff a lot. I am looking into moving into the US and that’s something I am working on.

QuenchSA: Heard. What would you like your fans to know about you that you reckon they don’t?

Ntokozo: I’d like them to know that I am not full of myself. Some people think that because I get all these tweets and comments that I am full of myself. I really don’t take it to my head and I certainly don’t take it to heart. Although I appreciate the comments, the love… but you know? I don’t believe my own hype and I think that’s what keeps me grounded at all times.

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On a mission: Ntokozo’s working on his own production

QuenchSA: Besides moving to the States as something you have said might be on the pipeline earlier on, what else are you planning?

Ntokozo: I can’t say much right now but I am in the process of working my own production. There’s a certain show I am writing and that’s all I can say for now.

QuenchSA: Fair enough. In wrapping, any messages for the youth during Youth Month?

Ntokozo: As cliche as this sounds I would say, hang in there. Make sure that you push your studies. And make sure that they know that everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Even if you don’t have anything but you believe in the talent that you’ve been given and run with it – no one can stop you.

*Uzalo airs on SABC 1 at 8:30 pm, Monday to Wednesday.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. nomonde

    June 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Wow nice work

  2. Pingback: ‘It Could Be Over By The End Of 2015′: Generations Faces Cancellation | Quench SA

  3. lwandisiwe

    September 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Oh I love you ntokozo mmmm god I wish I could see you ntokozo you are my favourite actor out of them all mcwaaa. From lwandisiwe msane escombe primary school. Queensburg. 0613162252

  4. mpumi mnomiya

    October 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I really really like you mastermind OMG!!!

  5. mbally

    November 9, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Mastermind ur the yumiest human being I have ever seen,keep up the good work..love u

  6. tshepang mong

    November 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

    mmmmmm thank yew mastermind for motivating us ….nd I like you …you are my favourite actor

    • Tsholofelo

      July 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      May god be wit ntokozo every step of the way

  7. Mbarly

    November 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Oh wow yaw ma everday man crush Ntokozo.Keep up the good work.Love you lots!!:*:*#future MaDlam’s
    #Sounds cliche though
    #So what?!…
    #fan love…

  8. Gladness Nkosi

    December 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Wow Ntokozo my brother, th dlaminis alws rock,,ibambe kanjalo,kep rockng i lv u! excited ..heres my no 0721482954 lts wtsup peps

  9. Mmathapelo bokaba

    December 16, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Keep up the good work mister

  10. Mr PD MaQ

    December 17, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Muhle kakhulu umsebenzi owenzayo ndoda,sengathi uJehova angakukhulisa akuvulele eminye iminyango,we love you as your suppoters my brother

  11. Esona ngquku

    December 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Love u man #my crush,#favourite.Keep up the good work.LVE u TK DLAMINI #KEEP ROCKING, you going big time.

  12. Mk

    December 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

    wow zweli uya rocka boss and am sorry for ur loss I wish I could hear ur voice in my ears saying kukhala SAM sphaqulo kwa maphumulo

  13. Simphiwe

    December 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Wooow ntokozo u are unique, u are the best if ngingaku distriber kungashona ilanga, keep it up.

    • carmen

      January 8, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Ntokozo I am carmen goldstone …I wuld like to thank u for being a inspritational leader to us young people ….it was so awesome when GC,MkonTo and thobile came to our place here in Eastwood to incurage us youngsters to follow our dreams…we were looking forward to meeting u and gxabhashe it would of being better if u guys came cause a lot of people look up to u guys as leaders or rolemodels …please come again and pay a visit to us here in Eastwood secondary school …we would realy apprieciate it..

  14. Lindry

    February 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    U are so amazing clearly i jst watch uzalo to see u jst hw cute u are wow wish i could meet u personally lots of best wishes nd love mwah

  15. Esona"Queen zee"

    March 5, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Master bae:-P, love you.Thank u for being a great inspiration to us.#SEE U BABY,keep rocking.

  16. jessica kendall

    April 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Mastermind u doing a great job bro…may God be with yuu…You my celebrity crush

  17. primrose

    April 18, 2016 at 11:44 am

    mastermind you are the best and generous guy love u

  18. brilliant

    April 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    luv u buddy i olweyz check on u…. uyafanelwa. udecent…..uyi inspiration…uyiPower….. mina ngithi keep up the best standart…dmclxvi

  19. Luvolwethu Gasa

    July 1, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    mmmmh yeah Ntokozo, I do like your interview with QuenchSA wow waze wakhuluma kamnandi I wish nam abantu bengayeka ukungixhe kw career yam nami I want to be an actor 1 day any way u actor kamnandi bra….may God bless you**from LUVOLWETHU GASA**0744832179

  20. Khethy

    July 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Wow you motivate us brother Ngwane

  21. Khethy

    July 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Wow you motivate us brother,god bless u Ngwane

  22. kwaeyalezwa

    July 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    uyababa lobhudi yooooo

  23. Asanda Lwayo

    July 29, 2016 at 1:12 am

    eish i love ds guy yhoo

  24. siyethaba DLAMINI

    August 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I really like mastermind yooh

  25. bucie ngcobo

    August 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Keep u the good work ntokozo nd stay unavailable like dat hey (laughs)

  26. langelihle

    January 25, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Yooo I realy love ntokozo very much I wish I could see ntokozo so that I can tell him how much love I have

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Interviews

Khaya Dladla Gets On The Hunt For His Biggest Fan!

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Khaya Dladla

The debut season of Tropika Smoooth Fan is here and this week, Khaya Dladla is the first celebrity to put his biggest fans to the test as they compete to prove they are the star’s smooothest fan.

Khaya has gained a massive following over the years thanks to his performance on the popular SABC 1 drama Uzalo.

His love for entertainment started when he was a child and developed after his parents sent him to drama classes from the age of 15.

RELATED: BONANG, SOMIZI, BABES WODUMO TO BE PART TO APPEAR ON SMOOOTH FAN 

The star enjoyed all facets of performance and later became a backing vocalist for musicians such as Hugh Masikela and Thandiswa Mazwai. Today, he stars as G.C.

Khaya Dladla
This week, four die-hard celebrity fans will compete in various interactive games in the hopes of being crowned Khaya’s smooothest fan. The winner will make it to the semi-finals where they will compete against the smooothest fans of the other celebrity contestants where, after another round of games, the two top contestants will go head to head in the final to win R250 000 cash and a Honda Amaze!

KHAYA DLADLA 

What attracted you to a show like Tropika Smoooth Fan?

Firstly, it was the opportunity to interact with my fans. I hardly get that because of the schedules we have on ‘Uzalo’. More than that, it was growth. I wanted people to get to know me instead of my character. And, the fact that its a Tropika game show makes me so happy because the brand feels like an old friend to me.

Why do you think it is important to recognize the fanbase who has been by your side throughout your career?

It’s simple – we are because they are. The more likes we get on social media, the more followers we get on social media and the impact we have makes us feel like we make a difference. It puts a ‘label’ to who we are and the relevance. I feel like it’s very important to recognize our fanbase because they are like our ‘hype people’. Our fans help build our brands through the love they send. As an entertainer, you have an audience listening so it’s important to give them recognition as well.

Why do you think so many people around the country identify with you and your work?

Firstly, authenticity is important. I try to be as real as possible. Even on ‘Uzalo’ I try to resemble a character that someone has met before because we want to tell real stories. The little mannerisms and the characterisations of what I do is relatable and, as performers, that’s our ultimate goal. I am also super critical of my own work and I think my fans see that I put my heart and soul into every performance.

What do you hope your fans get out of watching you on this week’s episode of Tropika Smoooth Fan?

I hope my fans get to know the real me. There is more to me than G.C. and, at some point, the G.C. brand overpowered my name. I had to go back to the drawing board and remind people who Khaya Dladla really is and Tropika Smoooth Fan will certainly help me do that. Apart from that, I am looking forward to having fun with my fans. I mean, that’s what the show is about – a fun, interactive show where I get to interact with my biggest fans.

What was the biggest lesson your fans taught you about your career?

My fans have taught me many important lessons over my career. They taught me humility and to always be as real as possible. I think that is something that has helped so many people relate to both my and my character on ‘Uzalo’.

Tell us something your fans might not know about you?

I run a lot of CSI projects and I do a lot of charity work. It’s something I keep to myself because I don’t want people to think I am doing it for media attention. I feed an old age home and also do my best to support a group of orphans who are close to my heart. Also, I have been learning how to DJ and I am working on a different concept on how to launch myself as that.

Can you share an instance where a fan has changed your life in some way?

I have had both positive and negative interactions with fans which has changed my life in some way Once, a fan hugged me, spun me around and stuck his tongue in my mouth. That was the first time I cried from a fan interaction. It really shook me. Then, on a positive note, I had an interaction with a fan who got so excited to see me that she had an asthma attack. I stayed by her and waited for the ambulance to arrive and afterwards, I asked to have a chat with her. I realised how easily people look to celebrities for motivation and I knew that I wanted to use my fame to inspire people.

What’s can fans expect from you in the coming months?

A lot! I have been working on my music for over a year now. I come from musical theatre so I am excited to show the country that side of me. I have also joined Gagasi FM as a presenter which I am really excited about. Apart from that, fans can expect more music, more gigs and more exciting collaborations.

Want to be a contestant on the show? Simply buy a Smoooth Fan-branded Tropika at your nearest store, find your unique code and follow the on-pack USSD instructions for your chance to prove you’re the smooothest fan on live television.

Fans also stand to win amazing prizes by snapping a selfie of themselves with a Smoooth Fan branded Tropika, and Whatsapping the image to 071 605 1503 live during the show between 18:00 and 18:30 every Friday.

Catch Tropika Smoooth Fan every Friday at 18:00 on SABC 1.

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Interviews

Sir LSG: Perfection Matters – Not So Much The Accolades – Interview

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Select Sessions Sir LSG

The way Sir LSG approaches music is microscopic. He takes all these elements – tiny sounds that don’t typically register to an ear that isn’t technically sharpened to detect and achieve sonic balance – very seriously. He’s also a perfectionist, which meant finishing his much-celebrated album, Moving Circles, was no easy feat.

We had the privilege of hearing from the man ahead of his set at Play Sessions in Braamfontein this Thursday, September 6th.

You started out studying electrical engineer before a passion for records and music took over. Tell us about your record collection?

I started collecting records right at the beginning of my first year at WITS, and in hindsight, engineering was never really going to work well for me. My record collection is quite small, because in 2006 when I started playing, CDs were becoming popular in the clubs. My friends and I would share records when we had a gig, to assist with the limited range.

Your mentor was/is DJ Christos, “The Godfather of House” and one of South Africa’s most respected house producers. Tell us how his work inspires you?

I met DJ Christos back in 2008 at an SAMC conference, when I had just won the DJ competition for the conference, and Chris took me under his wing. For a few months I would travel with him to his gigs and he would give me his last 15 – 20 minutes of his sets. It meant a lot to be able to travel with one of our country’s house music icons – I can never be grateful enough for those moments.

Your “Sax In The City” soulful house mix reached the second spot on Traxsource’s top singles chart in 2011, and in 2014 they voted you at Number 20 on the Top 100 Afro House Producers of the year. Tell us how these accolades helped define your career?

It’s always nice to see my releases reach charts on Traxsource because globally they are the leading House Music store. But those accolades don’t really mean much, I’m only happy and grateful that there are people out there who enjoy the music I make.

You’ve worked alongside global and local acts, such as Ralf GUM and R&B singer/songwriter Brian Temba. Who has been your favourite collaboration to date and why?

The most important thing for me when working with other artists is to really have a “vibe”. As soon as musicians “vibe” you’ll hear it in their music. I always enjoy working with Ralf Gum and Thandi Ntuli because they are the two people I spend a lot of studio time with.

What can people expect from your Select Sessions gig on 6th September at PUMA?

Expect nothing but solid soulful house music. See you on the dance floor.

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Interviews

Deep House Ace Kat La Kat Is Not Chasing The Wave – Interview

Kat La Kat takes us through his approach to House music as he preps a set at the looming PUMA Select Sessions

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Kat La Kat

If you’ve had the privilege of enjoying Kat La Kat’s abstract and organic sets, you would appreciate his technical showmanship and the clear fact that he loves music. The house music DJ prefers diving into his enriched pool of vast house offerings than merely amplifying popular sounds.  We got him to delve a bit deeper into his creative processes in this Q and A.

You’re known for your Deep Vibes mix series, which has a cult following. How did this first come about?

I felt the need to put out tracks that wouldn’t generally be heard in clubs in my area at the time, a sound that was a bit more dark and less catchy. Stuff people would say is too calm, too deep, too underground to play in front of a crowd, so I decided to create a mix series that one can indulge in their own space, with no pressure to make people dance.

You’ve played in nightclubs in and around Pretoria and Johannesburg for more than a decade now. Any advice for aspiring DJs and producers?

Trust your taste! A lot tend to follow what works for other artists and they struggle with consistency because it was never really their taste. Do you and do you good …the rest will fall in place

You’re experimental, use mixing techniques and like to take people on a journey with your deep house sets. What’s a sound you’re loving right now?

I dig deep tech house and quite a few local producers are putting out some awesome sounds.

You’ve been producing your own music since 2006. How has the local house music scene developed since then and where do you think it’s going?

I think it has developed in a very good way, we’ve always had the groove but we lacked sonic quality and little technical stuff that goes into a production. Guys are making the effort to have their tunes professionally mixed and mastered and that’s a step in the right direction.

What can people expect from your Select Sessions gig on 6th September at PUMA?

A Kat La Kat experience, you need to hear it to know what I’m talking about! You can expect the unexpected.

Select Sessions 6 Sept Artwork

 

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