Isidingo’s Sisa – a man of many talents

Ace

Four years after joining Isidingo, Sisa Hewana, who plays Skhumbuzo Nzimande, takes stock of his career and discusses his plans

Sisa, who was “discovered” during nationwide auditions for Isidingo in February 2010, says he is privileged that his role has lasted for this long as it was only meant to last until the end of the 2010 World Cup.

An economics graduate, Sisa’s friends dared him to enter the Isidingo talent search competition. Laughing, he was reluctant at first but eventually “bowed to pressure” and entered.

“From a very young age, I’ve always been a performer. I’ve never been afraid of the spotlight. I also don’t believe in luck; I believe that chance favours the prepared mind. An opportunity came, I took it and I was mentally prepared for it,” says the 31-year-old.

“Playing Skhumbuzo is a highlight in itself, but everyday I’m on set is a highlight as well. From the people I work with, in production and fellow actors, to the actual craft of performing.”

He adds that being in the entertainment space also helped him discover other things he is passionate about.

“I write and produce music and I have a recording company, AS Recordings, based in the Eastern Cape, where we focus on growing and nurturing local talent.”

Sisa also owns a production company – The Producers. “We are producing a show that is an unconventional reality magazine programme. You’ll probably see it next year sometime. I’m also the ambassador for John Drake Shoes and I’m involved in two community-based projects, Water For Life in Port Elizabeth and Students Rule Vision 2030.”

With a finger in every pot, Sisa says he still makes time to hone his craft. “I spend a lot of time retraining myself on not just acting alone, but the entire process of producing an episode or series. It’s easy to become complacent and take your craft for granted.”

Behind the camera

Sisa says he would like to see himself as a director one day, and jokes that he can’t wait to start giving directions to underlings.

“I enjoy telling other actors what to do; there is nothing better than that, trust me!” he laughs. “But seriously, being artistically scrutinised on a daily basis by the director or producer took some getting used to. Especially because as an actor, you need to wear your heart on your sleeve in order to be true to the role you are playing.”

But the criticism helped him get to where he is today. “I learned that if you want to be a good actor, you need to listen and use the criticism to improve yourself,” he admits.

And as for finding balance? “I try my very best not to bring work home, but that is near impossible because I have to prepare for work at home everyday. My kids help me with my scripts from time to time. That explains why they go missing! The scripts, not my kids,” he said.