I’m nothing like Qaphela – Abdul Khoza

Best known for his crude role on Isibaya, Khoza chats to us about being in the army, fatherhood and how he is nothing like Qaphela

29-year-old Isibaya actor, Abdul Khoza, says acting was never really his passion. If anything, the humble down to earth actor and musician says he wanted to be a veterinarian because of his love for nature and animals.

However, after finishing school he had to leave for the army, where he served for four years. His experience in the army was great and was a solution as his parents had to focus on his brother’s fees.

“My parents had to pay for my brother’s first year fees and hearing them complain about how high they were was a wake up call for me, he says. I wasn’t just going to idle at home, I needed to do something”.

After being in the army, he worked as a fireman for three years but left his job when he was the winner of the SABC 1 reality show Class Act in 2011, which opened doors for his acting.

Khoza says although acting was never emphasised as a career at school, he has always been a performer at heart.

His father, who had a powerful influence in his life, made them watch movies everyday which would inspire them to get better in marshall arts and also encourage them to imitate the characters in those movies.

While staring on The Road, Khoza was approached by one of the directors who asked him if he’d be keen to portray Qaphela on Isibaya.

“Qaphela is a role that excites me a lot because I get intrigued by the levels and story line that goes around him” he says.

“He’s a brutal guy who will always put himself and his needs first. Portraying Qaphela is the true meaning of acting because I have no mean bone in my body”

Because of his kind warm personality, Khoza admits that he has to really go all out to effectively and genuinely portray Qaphela.

“I have no relations or reference towards such a character, but I use life experiences and my surroundings while growing up to better understand my character,” he says.

It’s based on those reasons that he believes everyone can act because we’ve all seen, heard and been in certain situations. “We don’t necessarily act, we just portray life on camera,” he says.

His brother, Sthembiso Khoza is his pillar and best friend. He says their father spaced them a year apart so that they would never need friends outside of family.

READ MORE: Sthembiso Khoza on his role in The Queen

“I call my brother for anything and everything – he’s my best friend. We’re able to guide and support each other and because he started out in the industry, he gives me valuable advice about the industry and life in general,” he says.

“I’m very proud of my brother, he took his career and ran with it. He’s always there for me and vice versa.  He’s truly a blessing”.

His three-year-old daughter has been the best addition to his life. He says being a father has been life changing and his daughter means everything to him.

“My daughter still has a lot to learn, but I feel she’s going in the right direction. I like how she’s grasping onto manners and discipline,” he says.

The one thing Khoza would like his daughter to carry through life is to be respectful always, as he believes a bad attitude cripples you.

“I just want my daughter to be respectful and disciplined. I believe that’s the one thing in life that will help in any situation,” he says.

One of the challenges he’s faced in his career is the uncertainty of getting work, hence he’s branched into other areas in the entertainment industry. He’s currently wrapping up his single, titled Ubusuku Bonke which will be released in two weeks.

The song, is about ‘hustling’ which he feels is a common ground for a lot of people. Through the single, Khoza aims to inspire the learner and worker who often has to stay up all night to make their dreams a reality.

“Music gives me a voice. It allows people to know who I really am, understand my opinion and value/belief system,” he says.

Khoza’s future plans still include directing. “I believe I’m a brilliant writer and I want to see that happening. I want to act, direct and produce music – they’re all part of who I am,” he ends.