Bheki Mkhwane is a 59-year-old South African actor, mime, director, producer, composer and playwright. He is best known to television viewers for his starring role as Samson in Isibaya. While most of his personal life information is unknown. Enough can be said about his career.
Full name: Bheki Mkhwane
Date of birth: 1963 (age- 59)
Place of birth: KwaMashu, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Occupation: Actor, Director, Producer, Playwright and Composer
Known for: Pastor Mdletshe, Samson from Isibaya
Nationality: South African
Early life of Bheki Mkhwane
He was born in 1963 in KwaMashu in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa. He is best known for his association with Ellis Pearson. Moreover, the pair of whom have produced and performed in numerous stage plays. Including A Boy Called Rubbish, Kaboom!, Amazwi Omoya, Skadonk, iLobola and more.
Bheki grew up in KwaMashu in Durban. Where he was born. He used to play football and he watched Gibson Kante’s plays which probably inspired him. He was trained at Jaques le Coq school in Paris. [ ¹]
Basic filmography summary of Bheki Mkhwane
He is best known to television viewers for his starring role as Samson. The head of the Ndlovu clan. Who is aligned with his hot-headed brother, Mandla (played by Bongani Gumede). In the Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soap-opera isiBaya. Kwa-Mashu township is where Mkhwane was raised. Moreover, Mkhwane was a tough, street-smart football player. Who was inspired to become an actor by the great Gibson Kente.
Bheki’s versatility as an actor has allowed him to work with renowned theater companies (covering a variety of plays from Shakespeare to Athol Fugard). And furthermore, host television shows, perform in films, hone his incredible storytelling talent, and tour the globe with his original work. [ ²]
Bheki Mkhwane’s illness tempering with his well roles
Mkhwane, was heavily ill in 2021. And was to no longer play the role of Njandini in the new season of “Bopha!” Which was a State Theatre play in which Mkhwane was in. The SA State Theatre said the legendary performer had been booked off sick for four weeks. Details surrounding Mkhwane’s illness were not known. Or at least not disclosed to anyone.
“I cast Bheki, aware that he will deliver,” veteran playwright Percy Mtwa said. “He is a strong and experienced actor with a special handling of dialogue. I have always admired him. With him, I believed I found Njandini.
Mkhwane and his son once hosted an acting masterclass on the 4th of December 2021
Menzi, who has his own theater company, Menzi Mkhwane Creations. Offered his ten years of experience, but Bheki, who is well-known for playing Samson Ndlovu on Isibaya, was to share his decades of experience. Menzi developed his reputation in theater during his first ten years as a working artist. And, even took home the Naledi Theatre Award. Along with producing and directing plays for his business, he also briefly experimented with television.
Menzi thinks he was drawn to the arts. However, because of his famous father, he chose not to pursue performance art. Furthermore, Menzi wanted to create opportunities for young actors in the theatre. Nonetheless, way too many players his age wanted to succeed on television.
Menzi believes that art chose him. But, he did not go to performance art because of his famous father. Since, many actors of his age want to make it big on television. Menzi wanted to open opportunities for young actors in theatre.
With the masterclass, the 32-year-old says many artists in SA are caught between development and breakthrough. Moreover, very little have been dedicated to addressing this void. He says The Actor’s Shrine seeks to bridge that gap while equipping emerging performers. [ ³]
What the masterclass was really about according to Mkhwane’s son Menzi
“I think this will be an exciting experience for actors. Most people get excited by the idea of an accomplished man in his industry. Giving birth to a son who goes on to accomplish great things in the same field. We touch on how to understand and find your character. Moreover, the masterclass takes the form of an inter-active demo-lecture. Which includes live demonstrations, discussions and question-and-answer sessions. But the masterclasses are not free. So, people will have to pay a small fee.
“We will speak on their experience in the arts. So, we will be covering topics from their personal approach to acting to the politics of art. We will be looking at how to understand your character and be able to unpack it. There will be exercises in which involve audience participation that are aimed at enhancing and adding to the audience acting tools. They equip them with skills to approach the art of acting in a more truthful and connected manner,” said Mkhwane’s son.
Bheki Mkhwane had intended the masterclass to bring people to the true meaning of acting
The legendary actor believes that actors who are serious about their craft need to attend masterclasses at least once a year just to refine their skill. He says in Europe masterclasses are staged for seasoned and award-winning actors. Bheki was concerned that everyone in SA thought they could act.
“Acting is hard, you can never master it but you work on it. In acting, you do not get discovered but you work on your craft, and we become interested in your craft. We have celebrities and presenters who are now called actors,” he said.
“In this country, we have a sad situation where actors walk away from their craft and lose the truth. Acting is like a little baby that needs to be nurtured now and again. In fact, on Saturday (tomorrow), we are going to tell you that ‘if it [acting] is not there don’t even try, just go try another career’.” Said Mkhwane.
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