It seems drama within Mzansi Magic telenovela Isibaya happens on and off the screen – with veteran actor Siyabonga Thwala allegedly placed on “temporary leave”. Cast alleges he wants to be given special treatment onset.
Thwala, who is the darling of the show and plays the role of Mpiyakhe Zungu, is currently not shooting with Isibaya for reasons not publicly ventilated. The veteran actor, who is known for his roles in the now defunct SABC1 Generations, etv’s Scandal and Ryhthm City, is said to have made huge demands just as the show producers were preparing for the shoot of Isibaya season 8.
According to two cast members, Thwala wanted to be given special treatment since he is a veteran and he has been with the show from day one. It is very sad that Mpiyakhe is behaving like Isibaya revolves around his character. He has become too big for the producers,” the source said. A cast member who spoke to Sunday World on condition of anonymity said that Thwala always complained about what was included in the script. The veteran actor also wanted a pay hike since he was a lead character.
Another producer from the show who did not want to be named told Sunday World that there was no proper explanation why Thwala was not shooting. Concerns about Thwala’s future in Isibaya follow news that actress and TV personality Nomzamo Mbatha, who plays Thandeka Zungu-ndlovu, was leaving the show because of a busy work “schedule overseas”.
“Mbatha was supposed to die [on Friday] and must be buried during the opening of season 8. We are hoping that all the misunderstandings between Thwala and the producers will be sorted by then so that we can move on,” he said
Mzansi Magic spokesman Irvin Pooe feigned surprise about Thwala’s alleged drama queen tendencies. “Siyabonga has been shooting last week and this week. He did take some time off earlier this month for personal reasons. Siyabonga is a very skilled and competent actor. He’s back on set. We are not aware of Mr Thwala jumping ship,” said Pooe. Attempts to get comment from Thwala drew a blank as he ignored phone calls and SMSES.