On Generations it was the mighty Ngamla (Menzi Ngubane); on Rhythm City it’s David Genaro (Jamie Bartlett) and on Scandal it’s Daniel Nyathi (Sello Maake Ka Ncube, who is apparently also the highest-earning villain).
After Vusi Kunene left Isidingo last year, many wondered who would be brave enough to try to fill his shoes. Now, after a few months as a lead on the soap, Lindani Nkosi has proved he is more than capable of competing with some of South Africa’s most watched actors.
According to Isidingo‘s executive producer Pumla Hopa, Nkosi’s character (Lincoln Sibeko) was brought into the soap because viewers were fascinated by someone who had been nothing more than a voice over the telephone for a long time.
“Having such a significant role on Isidingo is a huge blessing for me,” he says.
“I really hope the writers see my value and find reasons to keep me involved for a long time.”
Playing the stubborn, vindictive, sexist Lincoln Sibeko is no easy task for the actor, who was previously on Generations. In a recent episode, Sibeko told his son how embarrassing it was going to be for the young man to report to his older sister, Nikiwe (who would run the family business if her brother didn’t work harder).
“He (Sibeko) loves his family and wants the best for them, yet at the same time he will hurt them to prove a point.”
While his character is very different to him, Nkosi admits they do have something in common.
“I’m a very proud man. In fact I have often turned work down because I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it perfectly. I also take a long time to get things done, because I want to give the best of myself in everything I do. I’m very protective of my image and Lincoln doesn’t care about how people see him.”
If Nkosi could give Sibeko advice, he says he would say: “Relax. You are trying too hard to prove you’re in charge. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will lose your family, and they are the most important people in your life.”
For many actors, being on a big soap brings with it the fear of being typecast or being called by your character’s name years after you’ve left the programme. Nkosi is not worried about this.
“I don’t think being typecast is a bad thing at all in the South African entertainment industry,” he says.
“There aren’t a lot of jobs in our industry, so if … an actor is regarded as the guy who plays the best gangster on local TV, then it will be easier for him to get jobs. There is nothing wrong with playing a similar character all the time – just play it well.”
> Lindani Nkosi played Nelson Mandela in the 2004 film Drum.
> He’s acted in a number of local dramas, including Soul City, Zero Tolerance, The No 1 Ladies’s Detective Agency and 90 Plein Street.
> He is rumoured to be the mysterious voice of Big Brother on Mzansi Magic’s Big Brother Mzansi.
> Isidingo recently celebrated screening its 4 000th episode.
> Isidingo airs on SABC3 on weekdays at 7.30pm.