The TVSA Interview: Thembalethu Ntuli

Written by Tashi from the blog Interviews on 09 Jun 2008
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Thembalethu Ntuli's delivered a sterling debut performance in his role as Pule on's soapie Rhythm City.

He's also delivered starring stuff in SABC2's brand campaign ad and since his burst onto the scene I've wanted to know more about him.

On Thursday I caught up with him for us in between him being at school - he's in Grade 11 - and his filming for RC.

Here's what he had to say:

Tashi: You've been wow in both SABC2's brand campaign ad and as Pule in Rhythm City - where have you been all our lives?
Themba: With Rhythm City I have to say I was at the right place at the right time. I went to a workshop that was set up by my agency and I rubbed shoulders with the Creative Director Rolie Nikiwe of Rhythm City.

He said he'd like to work with me - I don't know what influenced him - he spoke to us about what he does on the show, how he writes and after the workshop he said he wanted to write something for me.

After I finished the SABC2 ad - which I got from a casting for a Sunlight ad - I got a call from him saying that I must come to start shooting Rhythm City.

Tashi: Pule's aged 11 yet you're actually 17 - it's not possible.
Themba: *laughs* Yes in most of my commercials I play a kid - when you look at me on screen you really think: "That boy might be 11," but in my mind I know I'm older. I'm glad I'm able to do it - I have a brother who's 10 so I know how they think and I use my height to good advantage. God gave me this body so I use it to my advantage to entertain and lure people into thinking I'm a kid.

Tashi: Yes you can bring your mature intrepretation to the character for added depth.
Themba: Yes, for me it's easy, I can get into the character really quickly.

Tashi: Do you find people speak to you as if you're younger?
Themba: Yes, when they start a conversation they look at me and go "What's up?" as if I'm younger but then when they speak to me they see I'm more mature and realise "This boy is older." I used to be very shy when people asked me but now I've accepted it and when people ask I'm much more open.

Tashi: With your presence all over TV - what are things like in the real world - at school?
Themba: You don't want to know. When I go to the local Spar shop to get things for my mother ... to think that so many people recognise me. At school people are like: "Themba's doing Pule," and people I don't know are coming up to me asking "Can we have an autograph?" Everyone's like "Themba-Themba, Pule-Pule, Rhythm City. Okay. "

Tashi: What are your plans for the future?
Themba: I want to try to get a bursary to study acting at AFDA - it's a school for acting and production - and then when I'm in my early to late forties I'd like to go behind-the-scenes.

Tashi: Tell us more about you - where do you hang out, what do you get up to when you're not filming?
Themba: I live in Ekhuruleni on the East Rand and I go to school in Germinston. I play a little soccer but I've been acting since primary school - most of my life. When I got to High School I did drama from Grade 8 to 10. At the moment we don't have a drama teacher, she left, Miss Cunningham, I think she did a really good job with me - she said I had the potential to carry on, to direct a school play too.

At the moment we don't have a lot people who are enthusiastic about drama and it's a bit quiet so I'm doing a teenage campaign documentary with teenagers on my street.  I'm just giving it a hand, trying to see if I can do it.

Tashi: TVSA'ers have been very impressed with your tsotsi taal - are you a tsotsi by night? How did you manage to master it?
Themba: I live in a township and I've heard the slang words and language for most of my life. For me I'm used to it - I speak it with my friends - but when I speak to my parents I speak in an appropriate manner. *laughs*

Tashi: *laughs* What's the most challenging thing about acting?
Themba: Adapting to your character - getting to know your character in such a way ... for me I have to be aware of not putting my own age onto the character - that's the challenge. I've never faced the challenge of needing to do a lot of research and so on - a street kid, I've seen them around all my life so it's not that hard to act.

Tashi: What's the best thing?
Themba: Being around everyone that I'm acting with, them giving me the courage that I can do it. What you've said - that people say I'm doing a good job with the tsotsi taal, I enjoy that; adapting my character and becoming it.

Tashi: Can you give us a scoop on Pule's storyline - what can we expect over the next couple of weeks?
Themba: I can say, Pule is going to run away and then Suffo's going to look for him. He's going to find him and that's when you're going to hear the real story about Suffo's life. I'm sorry but Pule's story might be coming to an end soon - I'm shooting my final episode on Monday (today - 9 June).

Tashi: The final-final one? Is it definite or is there the chance you'll come back?
Themba: It's for now, so he might come back.


Actors in this post: Themba Ntuli


09 Jun 2008 01:29

Wow I cannot beleive he is in Grade 11 and 17 years old for that matter.............

Miss L
09 Jun 2008 01:37

Im first.......(lol.......)
Thashi girl this littte guy is really talented....even convinced my mother to watch RC. She's so impressed  by the tsotsi taal.............

Id really like to see him more on our screens coz this is real, raw talent that just needs to be polished.  

So if ine of u guys out there would like to help Themba get a bursary to study at would be saving us from watching ububhanxa on our screens.....

PS: Adam ka Khethiwe, you could learn a few tricks from Themba.......your acting sucks!

09 Jun 2008 01:37

He's great!

09 Jun 2008 01:42

Oh my he's so adorable,and his acting is pretty good.17 years old,say it isn't so Tashi!!!!He reminds me of Webster....

09 Jun 2008 02:11

He still looks young for his age, i had never seen such talent in a long time.

09 Jun 2008 03:20

Ncuuu..ah mapukununu ahhh this boy is too cute especially on that SABC 2 Advert his very talented big ups 2him..And he sure can pull the Pule character on Rthym city  can teach alot of old mampara a thing or 2,,,i wish he can go far with his acting skills ...

09 Jun 2008 04:32

How old is he????? Seventeen????? I dont believe it!!!!  Talk about go golela mo teng (translation:growing up inside).. ha..ha..ha...

09 Jun 2008 04:45

He is mos more like Moa... in the Nigerian movies...

09 Jun 2008 04:46

I really like his Tsotsi taal..He looks younger than 17...

09 Jun 2008 04:47

Great actor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09 Jun 2008 04:48

He is mos more like Moa... in the Nigerian movies...

09 Jun 2008 04:49

Pure raw talent......what a breath of fresh air!!!  Hey Gene-rubbish you'd better start's someone who'll surely put most of you to shame.

09 Jun 2008 04:51

3 Reasons I watch RC


09 Jun 2008 04:52

He is mos more like Moa... in the Nigerian movies...

09 Jun 2008 04:54

im sorry...

09 Jun 2008 04:56

Oh ma word...17?  He surely can act.

09 Jun 2008 05:01

Carino i have the same effect about Moa ..that boy/man just cracks me ups..

09 Jun 2008 05:04

Ameni ANDI01: Suffocate is hot - like some Zulu soldier you just wanna drag...

wena Mabhey: For the record, that O totolozi is mine now.

09 Jun 2008 05:11

Luv Pule he has to come back...............

09 Jun 2008 07:38

I really do love this boy (Pule) im just glad that my curiosty has been served. Thank you TVSA for giving us that interview cause i have been wondering since i saw him in Rhythm City that this boy cant be a kid. I understand its acting but the way he talks you could tell that he is not a kid. I love his acting, he should come back hey, especially his tsotsi taal makes me glued to the screen.

09 Jun 2008 12:49

heheh this boy is great... my friend and I call him Lil'Thug!!! he's got talent!!

09 Jun 2008 14:22

Jah...He's Very talented!

09 Jun 2008 14:37

Ha ha ha my man cannot beleive he is 17, but I will print the article 4 him coz I know he will never blog

10 Jun 2008 07:17


10 Jun 2008 08:54

He is talented.I dont miss Rhythm City because of him.  

10 Jun 2008 12:36

HELLNO, DAT  KID IS A PSYCHO. his voice is too old than him

10 Jun 2008 13:45

We love you Pule!

11 Jun 2008 02:08

Mpukumpuku we always laugh kotlong till our stomach hurts. He is good & i wish to see him more. Im loving him & his acting is good

11 Jun 2008 03:58

Pule is a damn good actor, am loving his scenes with another good actor Suffo, this boy is going places.

11 Jun 2008 05:17

OMG! i can't believe it 17? he looks so young! i just loooove that boy, he's a good actor.

11 Jun 2008 06:09

Ah sweet..
I love this boy, he is such a brilliant actor..
Love you baby, keep the good work, you spice up the show

11 Jun 2008 06:45

Habe?!?!??! Seven what?
I was amused by his acting skills.... hiz gud

11 Jun 2008 07:52

Dear Ryhthm City

I understand that you need to make space in your show and that can be only done by removing some of teh characeters. As a dedicated fan I would liek to offer my advise. You see first you took out , Thula,  who was the best thing to ever happen on that show since Suffocate,  that hurt me so much, but ndanyamezela, the show has to go on. Now you are planning to cut some people again, a few suggestion will be Rachel, Kop, Charlotte or Gail, any or all of them, it wont do your show any harm. Even Sunay,  the show wont suffer with out her.

I aint no director you are, you came up with the show and i thank you for that. But whatever you do please dont take Pule out, no not him, please you guys, this is his platform to shine, dont take it away from him not now, the child is talented.

Kind Regards
Dr Andi Esmile Guerrero

11 Jun 2008 11:14

thanks Andi, my sentiments exactly,
how can they take away Thula, Sam Sedibeng, Mandla and leave Kop and Rachel

11 Jun 2008 11:36

@ Andi "Even Sunay, the show wont suffer with out her. " 

So i thought i was the only one observing that. She is over doing it lately.

12 Jun 2008 01:51

@ madenza, which reminds me, when they took away mandla and Samuel Sedibeng off just like that I was heart broken and vowed never to watch that soapie again, but Suffo kept me glued, then they made that up with Thula and now the best actor they ever had, this little monkey-Pule, pls dont move him

18 Jun 2008 08:44

U look so young on the screen i can't believe u r 17. keep it up i don't want to miss rhythym city because of u. love u .........

29 Jun 2008 02:58

I didn't know that he's old?????????

19 Jul 2008 06:23

HA HA HA! i can't believe that he is 17 yrs and he's doing grade11. i had an argument with my  mom about pule. she said he is older but i denied. anyway PULE ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCKS.

02 Aug 2008 04:38

I had a priviledge of living in Lethu aka Pule's house for a year when I first moved to JHB. Not only is this guy talented, he is also a very intelligent young man who is destined for big things in life. I'm glad he was given a chance to showcase his talents by the RC team.

Pity I'm now not in South Africa to enjoy RC with Lethu in  it. Anyway best of luck to you my boy for all your future plans and I hope you will continue making your mother and your father Ta Kenny proud.

11 Sep 2008 02:45

i knew he was older than hz height... i must say that he is too cute to b 17... i love his acting

11 Sep 2008 03:44

I notice that no maan this guy into ephuma emlonyeni is older than him.

19 Sep 2008 02:32

I noticed that  he is older as well. Seriously guys, u could tell by the way he talks that no man a boy his age cant talk like this. But hey im not complaining he kept me glued to the screen.
Good work my boy!!!

09 Jan 2009 14:25

I am telling you this boy is going far with his live. Iwish him the best and God bless him.

20 Feb 2009 10:40

These Guy is gud I can tell you He's going Big.He is the ONLY reason I watch RC.

02 Apr 2009 10:37

come on,i mean is this boy really 17???WOW!!!! iv always thought of him as a lil kid nevertheless hes very good at what he does,im 18 bt i surely do not thnk i can play a 12 yr old,we as mzansi need 2 take care of  sch talent n make sure dat htese guyz get all the support they other talent we have 2 b cautious of is dat of GIVEN STUURMAN who plays SPEEDY on Tshisa n hes also a co-host of the dj Sbu breakfast show,how blessed r we i sa

01 Dec 2010 14:59

u 18,hay susbhanxa apha.

27 Apr 2011 16:40

haha 17 or 18 watever G............. yooooo y r talented man wawo thata good i like.

08 Dec 2011 12:51

i want to be famous like them themba..... pls for any opportunities just email me on

12 Jun 2013 19:07

20 Jan 2020 02:58

lol compare now

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