GROWING up, actor Khaya Dladla was a ball of energy. His parents had to send him off to performing arts classes, just so that they could have some time to themselves. It all paid off because at the age of eight, Khaya was already getting paid as an artist. To this day, Khaya doesn’t consider himself a celebrity. He also doesn’t hang around celebrities that often, saying there’s too much fakeness in the entertainment industry.
The star has been in the entertainment industry for two decades now. But he says that he is not about to live a fake life and have people thinking that he is rich when he’s not. Khaya, who plays GC on Uzalo, says he has a few celebrities in his friendship circle because he prefers to surround himself with real people. “I do have celebrity friends, but they are very few. I just don’t have the energy to fake things,’’ he says. The actor says social media is full of fantasy and he wouldn’t want to contribute to the unnecessary pressure. After having a love affair with a certain rapper, the entertainer learnt to put his relationships off the media. It’s now worse because his boyfriend is media shy. “I believe that you create your own happiness. I have an amazing man. He’s working in the corporate world and doesn’t hang around in media circles,’’ he says.
RUNNING A BUSINESS
The 28-year-old owns an entertainment company, Khaya Entertainment Guru, which is a one-stopshop that offers public relations, events and marketing services. He decided to start his own business after realising that he was working hard to make millions of rands for other people. The star says the fact that he has six people working for him, keeps him going. He says being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of pressure and challenges but he enjoys it. “Having employees is an enough motivation for me to wake up in the morning. I need to pay six people. The company needs to run itself, so I need to look for more business,’’ he shares.
THE UZALO BREAK
There was a time when Khaya disappeared from our television screens. He explains that he was never fired over a pay dispute as it was rumoured but he had just asked for a break. He says there was a point where he would shoot back-to-back scenes for more than 12 hours a day and it became all too much. Even though it was fun doing what he loves, fatigue set in and his body was shutting down because of exhaustion. “I really needed time out. I was worried about my health. I was exhausted mentally and physically. My body was literally shutting down. I needed to relax,’’ he shares. The star says he is back in the game now that he is well-rested. He says he’s much happier and that the break helped him understand his true value. To his surprise, Khaya says people threatened to stop watching Uzalo if he didn’t come back to the show. “Things are back to normal now. Going back to work was a big thing, people were very excited. I didn’t even know I played that big of a role. I was surprised,’’ he says.