Last week, we brought you a fact file on Igazi actor, Ayanda Makayi but we later decided to reach out to the man himself in order to help you all get to know him a little better.
Makayi replaced Given Stuurman in the role of Boysie on the supernatural Xhosa drama series and he seems to have settled into the role quite well. That’s probably because he’s an Eastern Cape native who was on set with a cast of fellow Xhosa actors.
“It was beautiful, especially when we shot in the Eastern Cape on location at Coffee Bay. It was beautiful being in touch with your roots and your home,” explained Makayi.
“I felt at home, I didn’t feel like I was now surrounded by these big names, o’Vatiswa Ndara, o’Zolisa Xavula you know… I felt like I was back at home spending time with family. I was learning each and every day. About acting, about my language, about my culture…” he added.
Makayi said that he was raised predominantly in the arts and felt more at home in a field that allowed him to express himself. But once he was done with high school, he realized that he hadn’t yet applied for varsity and he had no idea what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
By January of the next year, a friend recommended AFDA to him and he packed up his things and drove up to Joburg with his mom. “I literally knocked at the door at AFDA and I was like ‘hi, I’m here to apply’ this was during O-week and orientation and stuff and they accepted me.”
In addition to allowing him to explore the arts while he was in primary and high school, Makayi says his mom has been his biggest supporter from day one.
“It’s been a very long journey for me but my mom has literally been the walking stick guiding me along the entire journey. It has always been my mom and I against the world really.”
As such, they watched a lot of TV together so it was a pretty big deal for him to get a role alongside the likes of Vatiswa Ndara (Nomarussia) and mam’Nomhle Nkonyeni (The Queen Mother).
He also lists acting with and learning from Chris April (the first black male actor in the film industry) during their time working on a German series in Cape Town.
“It was such an honor acting alongside someone like that and listening to his stories about what happened and how they were treated on set and stuff like that. That was eye opening,” said the actor.
Listening to (and sharing people’s) stories seems to be a passion of his as he highlights “sharing stories and hearing other people’s stories” as one of the things he enjoyed most from his time on Shuga.
“People forget why we act. [We do it] to tell other people’s stories and to tell them as truthfully as possible so I am dedicating myself to being that vehicle to listen to people's stories, and understand them and tell those stories to the world.”
Makayi was tight lipped about what he’ll be doing next but he did open up about a youth focused initiative that he and co-star, Oros are working on.
He also performs at corporate gigs with both of his bands, one called Move and Groove SA which combines the elements of music and dance as well as Eco Groove which uses recycled materials and wine glasses to create music. In Move and Groove, he plays the trumpet and dances occasionally and in Eco Groove, Makayi plays the wine glasses. Yes, ladies and gents, that is actually a thing.
Main image credit: instagram.com/ayandamckayi