Gomora actor Sdumo “Siyabonga Zubane‘s passes away after committing suicide, report says. Siyabonga’s first TV role was on Mzansi Magic telenovela, Isibaya, but it has since been discontinued.
“Isibaya featured me in 2017 where I played the role of Bhungezi. It was a one-day character, but I did it for experience,” he tells Drum.
“I wanted to see and understand what I am getting myself into and experience the real world of acting and not just an audition room and that experience got me where I am today,” he adds. “I don’t even know how much it paid, the agency took it. That did not matter much to me because it was all about getting the experience.”
Born Alexandra Township where the telenovela is being shot daily, Siyabonga understands the lingo and culture of his own township.
The love for the arts runs in his family. Siyabonga’s younger brother Thabiso Zubane sang for Bana Bama Afrika Tap and Clap the Choir.
“At the moment he works in a restaurant,” he says.
When he was seven years old his family left Alexandra and he moved to Tembisa township, where he lived there until he was in Grade 5 and they moved back to Alexandra again, he says.
He was back and forth between Alexandra and Tembisa with his family.
“But I ended up staying with my grandmother and uncles until I went to varsity in Pretoria central.”
Siyabonga studied Performing Arts and did dance as a major at the Tshwane University of Technology.
He believes he was born for the arts.
“I loved the arts from a young age. I went deep and I studied dramatic art in high school before going to university. However, with my love, talent, and gift, I still have to go through the same route as all actors and performers go and I have to audition for every role like it’s my first,” he says.
Siyabonga wishes he would have studied law, so he could be able to understand contracts better.
“But I have no regrets,” he says.
His entry into the world of acting has not been easy, but he still believes he has a long way to go and more lessons to learn.
“My initial plan was to study dramatic arts; but by the time I got to TUT, the faculty could not take any more students. I had to choose any faculty in the Arts campus, that’s how I ended up doing dance studies. But I have absolutely no regrets as it allowed me to be versatile,” he says.
For three years, his fees were funded by National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), however, it funded him fully for the first year only.
“Second-year NSFAS decided to only allocate money for accommodation,” he says. The next year was worse.
“This was a very frustrating time for me. I was in and out of the offices. But eventually, I made peace with the fact that I’m getting only food allowance from them. I struggled until I reached my third year. This is when things went really south for me,” he says.
“At first, I couldn’t view my year marks from issues of registration to me owing over R20 000 and I was asked to pay half.
“I was locked out of the accommodation. Life was rough. That’s when I saw that I needed to leave in peace and that’s basically how I dropped out in varsity, in a nutshell.”
Siyabonga still wishes to go back to university.
“When you appear on-screen people assume that you have a lot of money. Kuya mangaza, acting is a passion, and has very little to do with money,” he says.
— God’s Suggestion 🌩️ (@S_Glenn_) May 7, 2022