BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
LOCAL soap opera Wenera actor, Zolile Makeleni, said the lengthy period he spent acting has made him a better director who can bring out the best from the cast because he has been in their shoes before.
Makeleni — who played the role of Tsotsi in the soap — told NewsDay Life & Style last week that his consistency under the tutelage of the soap’s executive producer Eddie Ndhlovu saw him rise from being a mere boom swinger to be one of the best stars on the cast and now, a director.
“The transition from a boom swinger to a director required me to be a very flexible person, listening more and talking less when acting and doing the opposite when I am directing. As time goes on, you learn to understand the difference between being on set as an actor and as a director,” he said.
“Acting has helped me to become a better director for I understand how it feels being on set and listening to someone directing me, so each time I am directing, I have a better position of understanding the actors.”
Makeleni said he has since fallen in love with his role behind the scenes and after directing nearly 120 Wenera episodes, he was now working on his own project.
“I feel it is time I do feature films and two projects are on the cards,” he said.
Makeleni, who drew inspiration from his day-to-day life experiences, said he received professional training in filmmaking which helped sharpen his acting skills.
“Whatever I go through today inspires me to look forward to tomorrow, for I believe that we are all designed for greatness,” he said, adding that he still had a lot he wanted to achieve in his career.
The 31-year-old Makeleni said his dream was to turn film into a business rather than just entertainment through a foundation he intends to establish to nurture young and talented television personalities.
On the lighter side, the filmmaker said he was often forced to explain to people that Tsotsi in Wenera and Makeleni in real life were two different personalities.
“I frequently find myself having to explain that Tsotsi and Zolile Makeleni are two different people,” he said.
Makeleni has also featured in Makomborero and television series, Revelations.