Ehostela actor Thobani Nzuza, 28, is set to join the cast of Diep City, a telenovela that explores the struggle of four young women who were forced into a life of crime while in high school just to make ends meet, and are trying to make their way in the world.
The world comes crumbling down for small-time house burglar Nox (Nozuko Ncayiyane) after her bright, straight-A student younger brother Sibusiso (Tshiamo Molobi) is fatally shot during a house robbery he was not supposed to be part of in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg. The robbery was set up by rogue security guard and low-level gangster Mgedeza (Mduduzi Mabaso) and carried out by Nox and her crew. After doing time behind bars following her arrest, Nox returns to find her family still living in a shack after her alcoholic father Bonga (Hamilton Dlamini) lost his job, while her mother Thandiwe (Dawn Thandeka King) – who has not forgiven her for Sibusiso’s death – continues to work as a domestic worker.
DiepCity was created by Gwydion Beynon, Phathu Makwarela, Mandla N and Mpumelelo Nhlapo and is produced by Black Brain Pictures. The executive producers are Mpumelelo Nhlapo, Mandla N and Annelie van Rooyen.
Thobani joins the cast months after season two of playing the lead role of Mndeni in eHostela. He is a playwright, actor, director, vocalist and African dancer.
Born in Umlazi township in KwaZulu-Natal, he began his career in the arts in 2010 in a community arts centre where he studied under Buhle ‘Bo’ Mlazi. He studied drama and production studies at Durban University of Technology. His first professional production is titled Silencing the Hurricanes by Themi Venturas, was performed in Bangkok in 2014.
Thobani also wrote and directed Shintsha Guluva for the Isigcawu Festival in 2014 and received the Best Director award.
He performed in the Menzi Mkhwane play Secret Valley of the Great Kings, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Durban Mercury Theatre Awards. In the same year he collaborated with Kagiso Tsimakwane in writing his first one-man show, Boy Ntulikazi, which he directed, performed in and later published. The play won a number of accolades including Best Actor at the 2015 Isigcawu Festival, Best Actor at the 2017 Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival, Best Production at the 2017 Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival in Cape Town and Best Community Production at the South African Theatre Magazine Awards.
Thobani represented African students in a Shakespeare festival in Germany (Folkwang Universität der Künste), in Much Ado about Nothing, directed by Debbie Lutge in the year 2016. In 2019 he landed his second starring role in television, this time in the e.tv supernatural telenovela Isipho, which debuted on 1 July, 2019.