Mdantsane actors to star in film

The young pair represent the lead in flashbacks

A Boxing scene from the movie ‘Knuckle City’, with Freeman Sibanda and lead actor Bongile Mantsai.
A Boxing scene from the movie ‘Knuckle City’, with Freeman Sibanda and lead actor Bongile Mantsai.
Image: Michael Pinyana

Two budding young Mdantsane actors have been cast as younger versions of the two leads in the boxing film Knuckle City, currently being shot in various parts of East London.

Inganathi Mthizane, 15, plays the younger version of Dudu Nyakama, while seven-year-old Elethu Mfombi plays Nyakama’s younger brother, Duke.

Inganathi said working on the film had been a nerve-wracking experience.

“This is a first for me and I didn't expect it to be easy,” he said.

Inganathi said every scene had required a lot of emotion.

“Naturally, I am a happy person and I struggled to express some of the emotions that were expected from me.

“The producers would often tell me not to smile because the scene required me to be sad or angry,” he said.

The Voorpos Primary School pupil said he first fell in love with acting when he played the role of a farmer’s wife in grade R.

“Even though I am a boy, they made me play that role and I enjoyed it. I’ve also acted in other school plays,” he said.

It had not yet sunk in that he would appear on big screens across the country, he said.

“It's hard to believe.”

But he has no intention of pursuing acting as a full-time career.

“I would do acting part-time but it cannot be all I do.

“One of my long-term goals is to work in marine biology.

“But at the same time, I like being the centre of attention and acting gives me that,” he said.

Inganathi’s mother, Pamela Mthizane said her son had always shown an interest in acting and she decided to encourage him to audition for the film when they hosted auditions last month.

“He likes taking videos of himself acting and I thought I’d give him the opportunity to try out for this movie. I am so proud of him,” she said.

Elethu’s mother, Lizeka Mfombi, said her son has always been a lively child.

“He is talented and we saw this when he was only four.

“He is always dancing and entertaining people. Taking him to the auditions was the best decision,” she said. “He has been showing everyone what is being done on set.

“He is excited about being in the movie,” Mfombi said.

“But at the same time, I like being the centre of attention and acting gives me that,”

Knuckle City, produced by Yellowbone Entertainment, is a fictional story of the life of a Mdantsane boxer played by Scandal and Inxeba: The Wound actor Bongile Mantsai.

The film is directed by Mdantsane-born director Jahmil XT Qubeka (Of Good Report) and features some of South Africa’s finest acting talent.

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