A street hustler, Blackmailer being raised by his stepfather a role Zolile Makeleni plays so well in the Local drama of Wenera. He is not only the lead actor in the series but also a director on the show. His talent has seen him being one of the sought-after actors in Zimbabwe, he is hilariously entertaining and he has warmed up to the hearts of the viewers.
Meg-Anne: Who is Zolile?
Zolile: Off screen, I am a guy who loves being around people and a very open-minded.
Meg-Anne: What sets you apart from other actors in Zimbabwe?
Zolile: I am a person who is always aiming high, I am never content so I am always learning.
Meg-Anne: Being in the entertainment industry is both challenging and stressful at times, how do you cope and stay grounded?
Zolile: Being passionate about what I do, that alone keeps me going.
Meg-Anne: You are both an actor and director of the same drama series, how do you separate the two?
Zolile: Yes I both act and direct at the same time and this is made possible by knowing which cap you will be wearing. when I am in the acting seat I do as told and when directing I focus on that, ( perfect balance ).
Meg-Anne: Where is your passion for acting derived from?
Zolile: I have always been an entertainer growing up and I used to do comedy at school. I used to watch Martin Lawrence a lot that is when I fell in love with TV.
Meg-Anne: Wenera !! How did you come up with that particular concept? What initiated the conception of the drama?
Zolile: Wenera was my major breakthrough in my career both as an actor and a director. I started as a sound engineer on set until one day the director gave me a role just to cover for a guy who didn’t show up on time, from then I never looked back, my character grow to be the most loved. A year later I was asked to direct the show. The concept of the drama was inspired by the day to day life in Zimbabwe. We are just telling our Zimbabwean story.
Meg-Anne: It is quite an interesting drama so much that it has captivated the hearts of viewers. What do you think you have done differently from other local dramas to get such positive reactions?
Zolile: We work with a team of young experimental guys so we told ourselves we are the best and we do not have competition in Zimbabwe, therefore, we became the best. I would say our competitors are Scandal and Generations from across the border so we went to SouthAfrica on tour to learn and see how they work, from how they shoot and do their post productions. The only difference between us is that we equip ourselves with knowledge everyday and we aim higher.
Meg-Anne: My little sister Melinda Goredema is one of the actresses on the show.She plays the role of Malaika the bar lady. As an experienced and established actor,how do you nurture the young and upcoming artists?
Zolile: One of our secrets is self confidence, if you can convince an actor / actress that they are the best they become the best. All we do is we make sure that from the onset we are equal this helps the new talent to grow and becomer the best version of themselves.
Meg-Anne: Compared to the rest of the world, where do you see the level of acting in Zimbabwe?
Zolile: Baby steps one day at a time, we still have a long way to go but we certainly making waves in the industry.
Meg-Anne: What legacy do you want to leave in the acting industry?
Zolile: I want to bring an Oscar home.