'The River' actor, Lawrence Maleka as Zolani

‘The River’ actor, Lawrence Maleka as Zolani. Image via Twitter @1Magic

Lawrence Maleka recalls his favourite moments in ‘The River’

Actor Lawrence Maleka, who exited ‘The River’ season five as Zolani says his favourite moments in the telenovela were off-screen.

'The River' actor, Lawrence Maleka as Zolani

‘The River’ actor, Lawrence Maleka as Zolani. Image via Twitter @1Magic

Big Brother Titans host Lawrence Maleka, who exited The River as Zolani this season opens up about his journey on the 1Magic telenovela.

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The award-winning actor Lawrence Maleka broke The River fans hearts when his character Zolani got killed on the show on Friday, 3 February. 

Maleka tells Drum that his favourite moments as the cocky and saucy Zolani Dlamini on the show were behind-the-scenes.

“Unfortunately, [my favourite moments on The River] are everything we’ve done off-screen. There are moments that I wish sometimes we could capture for people. If you think those people are crazy, you should see them off-screen.”

Maleka’s friends held a farewell picnic party for him as he bowed out of season 5 of The River, after being his aunt Lindiwe ‘Madlabantu’ Dikana’s right-hand man for five seasons.

The actor also reminisces about acting alongside Sindi Dlathu and says doing scenes with her was “one of the magical moments”.

“After getting to know each other for a few days while shooting the first scenes of the telenovela, Sindi rested her head on his shoulder. As ecstatic as the moment was, it became the beginning of the greatest bond between the two, on and off the screen. Ever since then, she’s always been there. We’ve discussed scripts, we’ve discussed everything.”

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The River actor Lawrence Maleka says Zolani’s character was initially not written with him in mind but he scored the role after winning the heart of Mzansi with his township language and his bond with Lindiwe.

“Actors and directors take the script and interpret in a way that would work best [for both] and Lawrence really did that in a way that exceeded our expectations. So, a lot of the stories that were subsequently written were generated because of who Lawrence became as uZolani and the chemistry he had with uSindi Dlathu [and other actors] – the chemistry you wouldn’t find on paper,” one of the writers said in a panel reflecting on Lawrence’s journey with the award-winning 1Magic telenovela.

The 32-year-old thanks the cast and crew members of the telenovela for not receiving him as a rough diamond but as a peer and an equal, even as the newbie he was when he joined The River back in 2018.

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