Actor Nkanyiso Kunene shares his passion for telling stories in multi-disciplinary mediums

Multi-hyphenate actor Nkanyiso Kunene. Picture: Supplied.

Multi-hyphenate actor Nkanyiso Kunene. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 27, 2023


Boasting a career journey that spans more than two decades, multi-hyphenate actor Nkanyiso Kunene shared thrilling details about his passion of telling stories in multi-disciplinary mediums.

Having forged a path as a reputable creative, many know Kunene for his numerous robust on-screen roles on popular TV shows such as “Imbewu”, “Umkhokha” and “The River”, among many others.

His love for his craft has once again opened doors for him to flourish beyond SA shores charting a story of a father and daughter in Spain with the cast of his latest storytelling project dubbed “Origins”, which includes Nqubeko Ngema, Mngomezulu Nkosinathi, Thabisa Dinga and Vuyolwethu Nompetsheni.

“Origins” captures the formation of identity in visual storytelling in a collaborative production created by artists Kunene (co-director, choreographer) Janni Younger (direction, design, puppetry), and Derek Gripper (original music).

He tells The Star that he been travelling around the world since 2007 showcasing his love for dance and theatre.

“Everything that we did, we were telling a story with our bodies,” he said.

One of the major highlights in his career include performing at the Hollywood Superbowl in 2016 and also doing a production with the legendary Gibson Kent which was directed by the iconic Duma Ka Ndlovu and choreographed by Somizi Mhlongo at the Playhouse.

Kunene speaks about Duma ka Ndlovu and his emphasis on the essence of knowing your script despite what you do in the creative world.

“When I met uBab’ uDuma, he strongly spoke about how you need to know the script whether you are a dancer or a singer. I took that note. Then there was a point where he walked in the room and he was like ‘Nkanyiso read from page 19 to page 21’.

“I read that thing and it showed ukuthi he was doing this thing. And then from there were two understudies. The principal of the show at that time was Mondli Makhoba and he had two understudies. By the mist of God and his power and favour, I ended up being his understudy. I played that role. And that was a big highlight for me.”

Asked about his latest project, he said: “To see an audience responding to our cultural stories, it brings something else and also what it does it whenever you go to a different country you learn something. You come out different and doing workshops is growing my craft of work.”

With all the challenges that are prevalent in the limelight, he says he is grounded in prayer and always finds a way to move forward.

He hopes that all those who follow him can know that everything is all about God's power and that his personality is different from the characters portrayed on TV.

“I am favoured by God, I am the child of God,” he said..