Though very rare, many people would think playing a bad-boy character on TV may affect how an actor would turn out to be in real life, but Rhythm City actor Nyaniso Dzedze says he’s learning big life lessons from his morally corrupt blesser character.
It sounds like a heaven on earth scenario, a life full of luxury, latest fashion, on-fleek makeup and being spoilt for choice with gifts by a man who will buy anything your heart desires, but as the saying goes, there is nothing for mahala.
As payback for living the high life, girls must stoop low enough and do whatever their blesser wants them to. ‘That is a dangerous circumstance,' Nyaniso Dzedze told Move magazine.
The actor spoke from an informed position from the character he plays. Nyaniso stars as a soft-spoken and handsome young blesser in the e.tv soapie Rhythm City.
His character, Gift, bumps into young Mapula and promises the innocent varsity student everything she would desire. Mapula who has had a tough life, is easily lured into the instant luxurious life. Only to notice soon that everything was coming at a cost.
BECOMING A BLESSER
Gift and Mapula's encountered each other when she asked him to help her source a student accommodation for Banele, her boyfriend.
Gift seized the opportunity to express his 'good Samaritanism' gifting the young, sexy women with cash for a return favour.
As long as they are at his beck and call, it was all good with him.
When Mapula asked Gift what he wanted as payback for all the money and the things he had done for her, the actor responded 'nothing much' only wanted her to be available when he needs her.
Before long, Mapula is reduced to nothing but Gift’s puppet.
She started being dishonest to her boyfriend and dumping everything she believed in.
The storyline is making waves in the soapie but Nyaniso believes it’s driving an important point home,
educating the society. “It is a beautiful and hectic situation.
“We are driving a narrative of bringing back to the surface the situations that young women in dire and desperate situations find themselves in and the decisions they have to make to survive,” he told the magazine.
Nyaniso was brought up in the Eastern Cape in a traditional home where values and principles of 'Ubuntu’ where upheld, while on the other hand Gift is married but steps outside his marriage, spending money on girls and partying.
He had to research deep and wide for him to portray well, his bad-boy character. “It was challenging because I was raised to have quite stern morals in my personal life. Gift gets to do some morally questionable things. It has given me an opportunity to address the morally questionable character in me.
“I use my character’s journey as an opportunity to heal areas around my own moral journey. In the past I had questionable morals but grew to become the young man I think my family, especially my mother, was raising me to be,” he said.
YOUNG MEN & PRESSURE
Nyaniso is determined and wants young girls to see from this storyline, how the blesser-blessee transactional relationship can ruin their lives.
He also said the storyline also exposes bad habits in men by bringing to light what they do to get what they want and why they do it.
“A lot of young men are working to drive these fancy sports cars so they can look like the providers that women out there are seeking,” he said.
Nyaniso added that many young men are chasing material things as they succumb to the pressure of wanting to impress women with things they can’t afford.
“A young man is in varsity or trying to get a job so he can buy him a Polo so that he can find himself appealing to young women, which is the love he seeks to find.
“The blesser idea is spreading and young men are affected too,” he said.
The storyline is also challenging certain stereotypes too. For many a blesser is typically viewed as a bald businessman, rolling in government tenders, Gift is completely the opposite. He takes good care of himself, dresses sharply and smells good.
LIFE AS A MARRIED MAN
The idea of being a better man relates well to Nyaniso. It’s clear he’s battled his own demons.
The actor openly spoke out about his obsession with pornography and sex the habits he’s since put those behind him, he is ashamed of his past.
He has previously suffered silently. “In talking what I feel and I heal an aspect of it, and I also invite people who are at similar instance with me and realised I am not alone. And the solutions I have come up with in my life have been helpful to others,” he said.
In 2018, Nyaniso married his long-time sweetheart, English dancer Yana Seidl in a traditional Xhosa ceremony, and he is happy that he managed to wed the woman of his dreams. “Her Xhosa name now is Nomtha,” he said proudly.
Nyaniso opened up that he had encountered some hardship in his relationship but he is glad he stuck it out. Being married has helped him grow into the man he wanted to be.
“Sometimes we beat ourselves up, so finding someone who loves you regardless of how you feel can make you feel unworthy of the love. In a marriage it’s sort of intensified and we are going to keep growing.
“What I love most about being married is finding myself in the mirror of the other person. It’s a blessing to be loved. You get to appreciate yourself more because of that person,” he added.