The return of Meshack Mavuso

Veteran actor Meshack Mavuso chats to us about his long break from our screens and his role on Isithembiso

After being on our screens for 11 consecutive years, Mavuso decided to take a long break after his role on Isidingo as Vusi. He says it had gotten to a point where he had to drag himself to work and as a result, wasn’t delivering as expected.

“I realised I was sabotaging myself and and was being disrespectful to the viewers. So I decided to go back to my first love, which is theatre,” he says.

Mavuso says he believes every actor should do at least one theatre production a year to sharpen their craft.

During his break Mavuso started a community theatre group in the “hood” to educate and inspire young people who would like to get into the acting space.

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“It feels good to be back. Not to sound disrespectful, but sometimes I watch TV and all I see are pretty faces or influencers with a huge following yet their acting isn’t up to scratch – that’s not what the industry is about,” he says.

Meschak says the last time he worked with Bomb Productions was on Yizo Yizo 20 years ago. He says that upon deciding to join Isithembiso and learning that he’d be working with young fresh talent, he felt an obligation to be a mentor to the younger cast members.

“I, together with the other veteran actors on the show, took it upon myself to guide the younger people on the show. We’re constantly trying to instill in them a sense of discipline. We want them to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught in the moment,” he says.

He says being on the Isithembiso set is a breath of fresh air. “It’s a new idea and features fresh talent. It’s even better because the young talent is willing to listen and learn,” he says.

Mavuso plays the role of ex convict Kero Kunene, a humble father figure to township youth. He says his character has taught him that it’s possible to start afresh, despite mistakes you have may have made in the past. “Don’t be afraid to fall. You’ll fail, but you need to get up and continue,” he says.

Having been in the industry for over a decade, Mavuso advises aspiring actors to respect their roles and take their craft seriously. “Actors are born everyday and there isn’t anyone who isn’t replaceable,” he says. “If you have been given a role, portray it with respect.”

He adds that once you lose respect for your craft, the viewers do as well, resulting in them not wanting to watch you perform anymore.

Mavuso maintains that it’s important for young actors to stay in their lane, find their purpose and not get sidetracked by temporary deals or endorsements. “Focus on the bigger picture,” he ends.