Mqanduli actor heading off to the Big Apple

Vikela Ndzwayiba has a bright future ahead of him.
Vikela Ndzwayiba has a bright future ahead of him.

A young man from Mqanduli has been awarded a three-year scholarship to study at the prestigious New York Film Academy.

Vikela Ndzwayiba, 24, from Upper Ngqwarha village, received his admissions letter from the academy's president, Michael Young, in October.

He said the opportunity proved that anyone could succeed, regardless of their background.

Ndzwayiba, an audio technology graduate from the Academy of Sound Engineering, had been to countless auditions for shows such as SA's Got Talent before his big break came.

In June, Ndzwayiba performed a monologue at an international competition in Florida that earned him high praise from Young who then accepted him into the academy.

Young states in the admissions letter: “While at NYFA, you will be immersed in a highly creative environment where you will begin working on your first project on day one of the programme. We look forward to watching you develop, contribute, and grow as an artist and individual.”

Ndzwayiba said now there were endless possibilities in store for him thanks to the scholarship.

He works as a resident DJ at a Johannesburg hotel.

“I even left work early when my mother sent me the letter. I was so excited and I pray to God to give me more wisdom,” he said.

He will be jetting off to the US in September.

“I entered and performed well in a rapping competition in Johannesburg, which allowed me to go to the US. But before going to America, Elsubie Verlinden, the director of 33 and Me talent agency, trained me to do monologues and how to walk the runway as well,” Ndzwayiba said.

“Now that I've got this scholarship, I feel like dreams do come true. I've always wanted to be an actor but I never acted growing up. I grew up dancing and rapping. This was God's plan to bring me closer to my destiny. I was forced to go and act in America and it paid off.”

He encouraged young people to work hard and never give up, because anything was possible.

Ndzwayiba hopes to pass his BA acting degree with flying colours so that he can make his family and the country proud.