The TVSA Interview: Mduduzi Mabaso

Written by Tashi from the blog Interviews on 14 Oct 2009
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Since Rhythm City first started (two years/four months ago) I've been intrigued by actor Mduduzi Mabaso.

At first I thought it was because he plays Suffocate on the show and Suffocate's got such an edge to him but then I briefly met Mduduzi at this years SAFTA's and discovered that it's true - he's as much of a sultry enigma in real life.

When I first heard that the casts of Rhythm City and Scandal! were going on a roadshow (see a link to pics below!) I thought it would be a perfect time to catch up with him for us to unravel more about him - except he ended up being so mysterious he didn't actually go on the roadshow to Cape Town.

A long story short: I chatted to him in a mystery meeting last week. Here's what he had to say:

Tashi: What are the similarities between yourself and Suffocate?
Mdu: Well mostly, eish - the thing is Suffocate’s very quiet and Mdu’s very quiet himself. Also, Suffocate’s got a soft spot for kids and so does Mdu. Those are the similarities I think I know.

Tashi: Do you have kids of your own?
Mdu: Yes I do, two boys: Miabulo (21 months) and Ntokozo (7).

Tashi: What’s the biggest difference between yourself and Suffocate?
Mdu: Suffocate, he’s a man who has a mind for business and a gun in his pocket, whereas Mdu isn’t business minded, he just loves his work and he’s passionate about what he’s doing - all the time. Suffocate doesn’t want to fail.

Tashi: And you?
Mdu: No, you wouldn’t want to.
Tashi: I don’t, sometimes it’s okay when I’ve learnt something when I do, but it always sucks.
Mdu: No, you won’t give up.

A screengrab of Mdu as Suffocate in the very early days of the show

What do you do to get into character?
Mdu: It’s one of those things - I think I tend to be so close to this guy that it’s not a physical thing to go back to him. I think I’ve set the standard in such a way that it isn’t difficult for me to get into the character.

I know what life he has, what type of music he listens to so I don’t need to do anything like go and think about him or have a moment before I play him.

Tashi: At the beginning - was it more difficult?
Mdu: Yes it was because each and every director had their view of Suffocate and I had my own view as well. So one would come and say “Suffocate has to change,” - and then I had to know that he was mine without losing the hard-core thing that he had - but I managed to put Suffocate where he is now, and he’s managed to be a big softie.


Tashi: What’s been your best Suffocate storyline across the show? That you’ve ever played?
Mdu: The first time I played a lovey-dovey romantic story. The story of Khanyi and Suffocate - it was a nice one for me.

Tashi: Is it because it was very different? Do you just like getting lovey-dovey?
Mdu: Yah, ‘cos I haven’t played that for quite a while - the last time I played it was in a theatre piece.

Tashi: Your wife - does she watch Rhythm City?
Mdu: I don’t have a wife at the moment.

Tashi: At the moment?
Mdu: I have someone that I love.

Tashi: Ah okay, because when I saw you at the SAFTA's this year you were with your wife but I didn’t get her name.
Mdu: Oh, that’s over, let’s not even go there.

Tashi: What impact, if any, did winning the Best Supporting Actor SAFTA have on your career?
Mdu: I think it made people recognize my craft, how good it is - seeing me as a good actor as they say. What I’ve also realised is that I do have a lot of respect for what I’m doing.

Tashi: Who’s your ultimate actor of all time? Who inspires you?
Mdu: Meshack Mavuso - he’s so good, so smoothe, so soft - he does his craft so well that it looks like he doesn’t put in any effort. He looks so natural.

Tashi: And your fave TV shows to watch - besides Rhythm City obviously?
Mdu: The most recent show was Zone 14 - not because I was in it, but it was one of my favourites. The way it was done, people can relate to it - to the stories, the characters, they’re there in everyday life.

Tashi: What do you for fun in your free time?
Mdu: I’m always working, I love it. I sometimes go out - I teach drama, I have a play called Tasha On The Rocks - it’s going to be on at the Windybrow soon - I wrote it and I’m directing it.

Tashi: Are you a workaholic?
Mdu: Yah, that’s the problem for me, because I never get enough of what I’m doing. I just want to see other people doing it too so I try to give what I can.

Mdu with Mpho Molepo, who plays Fats

Can you tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows?
Mdu: The thing that people won’t know about me is that I’m gay. *laughs* No, I don’t know ... no,no wait it’s that I’ve never been a tsotsi or gone to jail. Sirrrious.

Tashi: *laughs* What can we expect from Suffocate’s storylines in the future?
Mdu: Pule’s coming back ...

Tashi: And Suffocate’s love life?
Mdu: No he doesn’t have a love-life and I don’t think he’s going to have one anytime soon.

Tashi: No more lovey-dovey scenes. How many months in advance do you film? What’s the time difference between when you film and when it’s on air?
Mdu: It’s three months to four months.

Tashi: Tell us more-more about the mysterious you - where did you grow up?
Mdu: I was born and bred in Alex, I grew up in Alex the whole of my life. I went to a small village when I was very young, I stayed in the Transkei for three years and then I came back. I’ve been in Alexandra for more than 27/28 years.


PS: Next on the agenda methinks: a date with Mdu, to find more about his lurrrvey-dovey side, ha!



14 Oct 2009 02:34


14 Oct 2009 06:38

Thanks Tashi..i love this guy, so hot and dangerous...

14 Oct 2009 06:56

Ngathi kunzima ukuthi ahleke period.........!

14 Oct 2009 08:24

I liek this guy. He is just so natural

14 Oct 2009 08:44

All the celebs deny having a love life, it's boring!!!!!!  For heaven sake he's got a 21 months old baby!!!!! where's the mother???

14 Oct 2009 08:45

Pule’s coming back ...
eish i still cant believe that he is in matric
and i always wonder if he is really naked in that sunlight i feel goood ad.
that little girl must have been scared

i love Mdu...he has mystrey written all over him
mara he must try a signature smile-nyana
at leat o na le humour- nyana I’m gay. *laughs*

14 Oct 2009 08:49

i always wonder if he is really naked in that sunlight i feel goood ad.
that little girl must have been scared

LMAO, me 2

14 Oct 2009 08:50

Oh sorry now I've read everything!  It's Suffocate who doesn't have a love life! 

14 Oct 2009 08:51

I loved him from a Place called home and he is so talended.  I loved the love scence with Khabonia, it's just nice to see a rough man fall inlove and being duped at it.

14 Oct 2009 08:54

I like him, he's a good actor!

14 Oct 2009 09:04

Hoorah ..Ple is coming back .. i love that  boy and i also like Mdu a lot ... he has a way with characters he gets into, he just fit in and you could see that it was meant to be played by him, good Actor

14 Oct 2009 09:08

Tashi: Your wife - does she watch Rhythm City?
Mdu: I don’t have a wife at the moment.

Nice one Tashi.............oh but i love this husband even more crazy about him............He is such a talented actor.....big ups to him......and oh!!!! husband seems to enjoy it more when you attempt to jive,......he always cracks himself up!!!

14 Oct 2009 09:29

Fell in love with him on heartlines series, and everytime I watch it I end up in tears!! he really does his thing and he does not sound arrongant at all.

14 Oct 2009 09:44

*sigh* somebody wipe the smile off my face, I'm looove this dude...
LOL on the sunlight ad bit

lady gaga
14 Oct 2009 09:56

good one Tashi, now these are people we want to hear about. i love this guy too!!!

14 Oct 2009 10:09

I thout I was the only one with a crush on him

14 Oct 2009 10:13

mdu is an artist, not a mere actor
he makes art out of what is thrown to him
heartlines---he was manyesa---eish ne ke tshaba the looks
Zone 14--- he was papi and he was good
RC-- he is suffo--still good

he must research his characters well cause he says he has never been to jail. one would swear that he has a jail advantage there

14 Oct 2009 10:20

Lol blueroze, *In Matric!!* how old is he kanti?

14 Oct 2009 10:27

Lol blueroze, *In Matric!!* how old is he kanti?
i saw him on Selimathunzi
they were making him a suit
and he said he wants swagger inspired or sungthing like that

weeks later they showed his matric dance
i think his real name is lethu

hey i was surprised mara when i thought of his lines on RC it made sense
a go na ngwana o buang tsotsi taal like that

14 Oct 2009 10:33

14 Oct 2009 11:44

yey, happy Pule is coming back,love that boy.

14 Oct 2009 11:56

I also love this guy....there's a character he played in one of the Heartlines series stories...some guys who was an excon....that's when I fell for him completely

14 Oct 2009 13:49

I'm sitting wondering why so many of us ladies tend to fall for the "gangster-like type of guys, the ones who so much look like they've been in and out of jail and have exconv-looks".... i could swear i was the only one fancing Saffocate and his lifestyle but hey, he is a hot and talented, who could blame all those ladies but for him to say he doesn't have a wife at the moment, i think its vague.
I think male celebrities like the attention from all the girls out there. 

14 Oct 2009 14:02

Tashi: Your wife - does she watch Rhythm City?
Mdu: I don’t have a wife at the moment.

Tashi: At the moment?
Mdu: I have someone that I love.

Tashi: Ah okay, because when I saw you at the SAFTA's this year you were with your wife but I didn’t get her name.
Mdu: Oh, that’s over, let’s not even go there. 

Arrg SA celebs do they always have to hide all they juicy details? *sigh*

14 Oct 2009 15:02

I love this guy- he's like Zola when he first stepped on Yizo Yizo and like Ronnie Nyakale from the recent Place like home (??). I think any future roles he gets will be gangsta roles and he's gon end up doing just that!

Let me read this interview...........

19 Oct 2009 16:08

I also like suffo.He is the best actor in Rhythm city! I wish one day i can get a chance to talk to him!They should give him another lovey dovey story again,he plays every role very well!He is a natural born Actor!!!!!!!!

La Dolce Vita
24 Oct 2009 13:48

i L00000VVVVVVEEEEE U Mdu wenz'inja sani blind..
Lolest at the Pule comments..mhlawumbi lingqindi elingakulito!! "I FEEL G00d!!! *IN MY BEST pULE V0ICE*!! kr kr kr

24 Oct 2009 15:03

This is one of the best actors apha emzansi. He doesnt disappoint he gives it all. Pule is cumin back now that boy always bring the best of suffo. Big up china!

06 Nov 2009 17:07

oh Suffo. I like this guy so much. Infact I love him
Ok like he said
Ah okay, because when I saw you at the SAFTA's this year you were with your wife but I didn’t get her name.
Mdu: Oh, that’s over, let’s not even go there. 

I think this means he is available..
I love you Suffo, i mean it..

I really have a huge crash on this guy. by the time  i was reading interview when he said he is gay i got so hurt but why did he say that may be he is BI 
why is he saying this. 

25 Mar 2010 15:08

when did you start acting

27 May 2010 14:25

eish suffocate u rock man'''%

08 Jul 2010 21:36

 i just want to hear him sing  .he is hot

06 Oct 2010 15:10

eyo i love this guy he is 1 of the reasons i dnt want to mis rythym city and the character is so real. keep it up

01 Dec 2010 14:43

That makes the two of us.....having n crush...imagine hot stimmy suffolicious sex with the dude.

27 Apr 2011 16:06

mdu you r the man...... i jst lov the man u r the best.... thanx Tashi....

15 Jun 2011 11:43

" hot stimmy suffolicious sex " khum u js finishd me

18 Oct 2011 14:04

U got it all Tash thanx.........I realy love this guy mannnnnnn

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