Actor SPARKY XULU plays the character of Siya Phakathwayo in The Estate drama on SABC 3. He tells us more:
Tell us about The Estate
Without giving too much away, The Estate is a show about a self-made mogul with a political pedigree who builds an elite and black-owned estate on land that belongs to the people of Thembalethu. The show is a microcosm of the socio-political state of the nation, where we get to have an in-depth look at the effects and complications of land disputes.
Who is your character in the show?
My character is Siya Phakathwayo, younger brother to Muzi Phakathwayo (estate mogul). He has been on the wrong side of the law for the bulk of his life, but is a man who is governed by loyalty to his brotherhood.
He yearns for belonging and seeks his brothers’ approval, yet he has an underlying feeling of betrayal and abandonment from his brother.
How is this character different to other roles you’ve played?
He has so many flavours of relationships with different characters. I really get to go in deep with exploring genuine relationships with different characters which has been quite a challenge because at the back of my mind as the performer I still need to maintain common ground with who the character is, even though the character is also trying to figure himself out, lol – it’s a concentration game constantly.
Are there any similarities between the character and yourself?
I think the one thing that we definitely have in common is the love for our people. Siya loves unconditionally at times and he doesn’t mind taking the fall for someone he loves in order to protect them.
What do you think the audience will love about your character?
I think his emotional journey. From the outside he seems like a bad boy but he has so much that he is dealing with and the story explores all of this in a way where you get to understand why he makes the decisions he makes and how he came to be the person he is now.
What do you love and hate most about your role?
I love that he is fearless, because as a performer I get to find different approaches to playing this characteristic. Every time he is faced with a challenge it forces me to find different ways of playing it out without going the typical route where the character hits the same mark all the time.
I really don’t hate anything about him, I have made the decision to see him for who he is and understand his intentions and downfalls. The minute I hate something about him or see him in a negative light it will affect how I authentically tell his story.
What makes The Estate different to anything that’s out there at the moment?
The issue of land is really important right now in our country, and I think people observing a daily lived experience of the effects of this topic will be a game changer in how people observe the importance of this issue.
What do you think the audience will love about the story?
The story and the characters are a honest and a true reflection of ourselves. It’s a story that allows us to go in depth with certain conversations we don’t see on TV, or have with each other as people in this country. It’s a beautiful story and I think the audience is going to love it.
What: The Estate starts in April 2021 on SABC 3
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