Hlomla Dandala

‘I started acting in 1988’: Hlomla Dandala discusses his long TV career. Images via Twitter @Jabu_MacDonald

‘I started acting in 1988’: Hlomla Dandala discusses his long TV career

‘The River’ and ‘Justice Served’ actor Hlomla Dandala discusses his TV career that spans over 30 years and his personal life.

Hlomla Dandala

‘I started acting in 1988’: Hlomla Dandala discusses his long TV career. Images via Twitter @Jabu_MacDonald

From Isidingo, Jacob’s Cross, The River, and Justice Served actor Hlomla Dandala opens up about his 30 years of TV career and how he dodged negative media headlines.   

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The award-winning actor Hlomla Dandala, who plays the role of Zweli Dikana in The River, Azania in Justice Served and is known for presenting All You Need is Love tells Sowetan that he’s learned to never believe the hype after being on TV for 30 years.  

“I learnt to never believe the hype because the second you do, you’re in danger. People can easily tear you down faster than you were lifted.  

“I remember being pulled off the pedestal quite hard numerous times. I would often be written about in tabloids and had negative stories spread around about me for reasons I don’t even know. That on its own hindered my ability to feed myself and my family… I must say that was a very long and dark period in my career.”  

The 47-year-old actor his break in TV as a mine manager Derek Nyathi is SABC3’s canned soapie Isidingo in 1998.   

Dandala also played the role of Jacob Makhubu in Jacob’s Cross, Siseko Langa in Scandal! before joining The River as Zweli Dikana.  

“I started acting in 1988. I always knew I wanted to be on camera and fame was the least of my interests. The character of Derek Nyathi actually changed my whole life.”  

“However, the role of Jacob Makhubu on Jacob’s Cross introduced me to the continent. Zweli on the other hand has been considered by a certain group of people as a manifestation of what and who South African men should be.”


Dandala also reveals that his greatest gift is being a proud father to his five children and considers fatherhood to have been one of the grounding aspects that helped him remain firm.  

“I am a better person because of my kids. They bring meaning to what I do every day and are my motivation to never stop doing what I do,” he says.      

The actor recently took on a role in a new Netflix action thriller Justice Served, where he plays freedom fighter Azania Maqoma.  

“I play freedom fighter and military veteran Azania Maqoma, who’s the leader of the Nomore tribe who’s very fearless and is all about justice. Playing the role of Azania was very challenging… yet quite thrilling.”

“I channelled all the freedom fighters who were aware of themselves and their cause in society.” 

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