Bongani Masondo is a South African actor best known for his starring role as Bafana "Prince" Shabalala in the SABC1 drama series Tshisa, from 2006-2012.
Tshisa was his debut television appearance. Bongani grew up in Spruitview and knew that economic sciences wasn’t his true calling in life.
After a year at Rau, he rebelled against his parents for the first time in his life. “I fought with them for a week,” he says. “I wanted to go and study at Afda. They thought that they suddenly had a rebellious kid on their hands and changed their minds about the economic science.”
Bongani loves art and believes in its power to transform. At school he did drama and sang in the choir. At Rau he started to explore contemporary dance. At Afda he is studying an Honours in Live Performance, majoring in Screen Acting. He recently starred in the international award-winning student short Elaleni.
He is a member of an experimental band called Coloured Black. “It’s new genre: beatboxing, rap, singing, poetry and no accompaniment. We write collectively.”
He is finding the Tshisa experience “very, very cool.” He’s formed a bond with Innocent Masuku who plays Baksteen, his best friend and foil in the series.
In the story, Bafana and Baksteen record some kwaito tracks together and before shooting began they went in to the studio to record the Tshisa title track as well as a second tune, Bigger Than Us.
“I got inspiration from the message in the script. Innocent also came with a lot of ideas,” Bongani says.
Bigger Than Us is about fame and its consequences “and it’s like a warning – the same warning I’m getting from the more experienced actors on set.” The tracks will feature on the Tshisa CD.