A few week ago viewers watched one of the most emotional episodes of Muvhango that we’ve seen in a long time when "Vho-Albert Mukwevho" was shot dead. His funeral was so touching that it felt like a real life story.
The social networks were ablaze with fans mourning the loss of the character while others were also not happy about the actor leaving the soapie as a whole.
The character of Vho-Albert was played by Ndhivuho Mutsila who was one of the longest serving cast members, having acted on Muvhango for 17 years.
Our field reporter, Siphelele Buthelezi had a chat with Ndhivuho regarding his Muvhango exit and touched on the actor’s future plans too.
What an emotional farewell, how was your last day on set?
The shooting of the emotional farewell, as you call it, didn’t occur the same way it looked on television. My last day on set was not for the shooting of the mortuary scene, but for Thandaza’s wedding. So you can imagine that the atmosphere at the wedding was full of camaraderie and joy. It was one of the most beautiful location to shoot at too.
When you joined Muvhango 17 years ago, did you ever think you would stay for such a long time?
I didn’t because I thought Muvhango was going to be a short drama show consisting of 13 episodes like many other dramas that preceded it. Most of us never thought Muvhango would evolve into a daily soapie show. But the current status of the show serves as a confirmation for everyone involved in Muvhango’s production since day one of the fact that hard work and commitment will lead to evolution and growth.
What will you miss the most about being a cast member?
The interaction with other cast members that went on for many years. We were like a family where kinship references such as “Uncle, Boetie, Malume, Sis, Mama, etc” were commonly used. Imparting skills and offering mentorship the incoming younger cast members is one of the things I enjoyed doing on and off set.
Much have been said of why you decided to leave the show; what’s the real reason?
Despite all the things that are being said by viewers in the media and on social networks, my main reason for leaving Muvhango had more to do with outcomes of predictability and nothing else. Some people prefer for their lives to stay the same forever while others prefer variety and I belong to the latter group. I felt I had given my best as a performer who was never trained
When the public learnt that you were leaving the soapie, there was an outcry on social networks. How are they (fans) reacting towards you when they bump onto you?
The outcry you refer to came to my notice as well and it evoked feelings of appreciation and gratitude in me. Fans’ reactions vary but the common thread is the feeling that most of them have is that I was pushed out of the show (Because my character “died”). I try to explain to them that it happened differently off-screen and that nobody was “pushed out”.
Albert’s death was the best exit route that could yield more sub-stories afterwards. Some reactions are hilarious in the sense that fans talk about “the waking of the dead” while others perform mock horrors as if they’ve just seen a ghost. I mostly laugh it off! It’s funny.
What about you, where to now?
I’m going behind the scenes. There is so much to do out there while one is not under the spotlight – mostly in the fields of education, entertainment and communication.
Despite having been on our screens for such a long time, you have remained humble and grounded. How did you manage all of that?
I have always been a private person and somewhat conservative - it’s something that some of my colleagues and friends occasionally tease me about. The approach was to use my exposure on TV as a motivation to others through a positive personal attitude and through an affirmative public conduct rather than use the exposure as a platform for self-promotion.
This past weekend there were media reports that you did not pitch up to your farewell/ screening of your last episode, can you please clarify that?
I asked to be excused for a while as I was experiencing trauma over the experience.
We will certainly miss seeing Vho-Albert on our screens but we wish the talented actor the very best in his endeavours going forward!
Journalist Siphelele Buthelezi is fascinated with Le good life, enjoys SA and international entertainment and fashion.