Meet Bandile Maphalala: Bringing Hawu to Life in Uzalo Season 10

ESA got an exclusive interview with Bandile Maphalala who plays the character of Hawu on Season 10 of Uzalo on SABC 1. Maphalala takes on the role of Hawu, a formidable stick-fighting champion renowned for his courage and strength, always armed and prepared for any test. Despite his tough exterior, Hawu’s charismatic charm with the […] The post Meet Bandile Maphalala: Bringing Hawu to Life in Uzalo Season 10 appeared first on EntertainmentSA News South Africa.

May 7, 2024 - 18:09
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Meet Bandile Maphalala: Bringing Hawu to Life in Uzalo Season 10

ESA got an exclusive interview with Bandile Maphalala who plays the character of Hawu on Season 10 of Uzalo on SABC 1.

Maphalala takes on the role of Hawu, a formidable stick-fighting champion renowned for his courage and strength, always armed and prepared for any test. Despite his tough exterior, Hawu’s charismatic charm with the ladies frequently stirs up trouble with Insizwa (fellow young men).

ESA recently caught up with Bandile Maphalala to discuss his experience adjusting to joining the Season 10 cast of Uzalo.

ESA: You play the character of Hawu, and you’ve just joined Uzalo Season 10. You have that taxi rank vibe, the Zulu man who loves himself. You look like you smell really good where you are right now, you have that thing, and the viewers love you for it.

Bandile Maphalala plays Hawu on Uzalo Season 10 / Image: Instagram @drbonesa

But before we delve into the deep questions, let’s start with you explaining your clan names, because Zulu people like to relay ithakazelo (clan names), can you please take us through yours.

Bandile: *recites clan names* It is important, as a man, to know that you do not give yourself clan names, they get given to you by the people you live amongst. When it comes to surnames, they [clan names] differ according to the forefathers that existed before we came. Our generation wasn’t a generation that loved writing things down, but our memory was very good, so we became very good at memorizing our clan names, also because you keep hearing them over and over until you remember them.

ESA: How did you get the role of Hawu on Uzalo Season 10? What was your audition process for the role?

Bandile: I got a call in December saying that a certain character was needed for a show, and they thought I should audition for the role. It was a hectic one because I was given an hour to arrive at the audition. *Shembe!* I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had to rush home and get changed because they told me that the character I was going to audition for was a taxi driver, so I had to look clean and really get into the character. I arrived there and I had a great audition, even if I say so myself. I guess it worked out well because I then got a call mid-February this year, saying that I had gotten the role.

ESA: How do you prepare for this role? Is it different from who you are? Do you have to mentally tell yourself that you are switching from your normal self and into Hawu’s character?

Bandile: Bandile and Hawu are bit different from each other, but not that much. It is what unites amabhinca (other traditional Zulu men). When you are in a craft that has a large following, you need to ensure that you nail your character and that you represent that character well. I had to go to do my research which included spending some time with amabhinca (other traditional Zulu men). I wanted to study how they behave, how they dress, how they talk. What was great was that the Zulu language also had to be played with (Zulu slang) in order to match the character of Hawu. So, I wouldn’t say the difference between us is too much.

Side note- Ibhinca is a Zulu person who practices their traditional Zulu culture, including wearing the traditional attire and listening to Maskandi. Maskandi is a form of music sang specifically in isiZulu. Maskandi music originates from South Africa.

Bandile Maphalala plays Hawu on Uzalo Season 10 / Image: Instagram @drbonesa

ESA: Were you famous before or after Uzalo?

Bandile: *Laughs* I don’t know about being famous, but I’ve been around the entertainment industry for quite a while. When I got into the entertainment space, I did. Hip Hop and I got signed to Warner Music as a rapper. I spent most of my time outside South Africa. I was the first artist to be signed to Warner here in South Africa. And when I got signed, I was in France, I was seen by American entrepreneur and music executive, Seymour Stein who also served as vice president of Warner Bros at the time. They saw me on SABC and then the rest is history.

ESA: What is the one thing that people don’t know about you?

Bandile: I think it’s that I am shy. I am very shy. I am a very spiritual being, but a lot of people don’t know that I am actually very shy. A lot of times it’s a spiritual thing. Most shy people are never alone. Their ancestors are always with them, so they have to be humble because the ancestor they are with don’t want noise.

ESA: How do you find a clear balance between juggling your work and your talent? Does your talent get in the way of your life?

Bandile: Because having a gift means always expecting the unexpected, like long shoots for example, it is very important to find a balance between work and life. I am an introvert; I am always indoors. When I am not working, the only place you would find me is at home. When it comes to friends, I don’t have that many friends. Most of the people I was surrounded with were people who love going out and participating in activities, and unfortunately, the owners of my body are not the type to go out, they prefer that I be at home. Playing a character is an ongoing thing, you need to keep working on it, keep making it better and constantly finding better ways to do it. My work takes me away from a lot of things but the people around me understand that at the end of the day, it’s my job.

ESA: How do you want Bandile Maphalala to be remembered in the industry?

Bandile: I want to be remembered as insizwa (a young man) who came from the homelands with the intention of making an impact in the world with no help and was able to do that and achieve it even though there was nothing helping him achieve the dream that he had about himself. A young man who came from the homelands with the hope of impacting even if it’s one person in a room with thousands of people, that’s what fulfills me.

Bandile Maphalala plays Hawu on Uzalo Season 10 / Image: Instagram @uzalo_sabc1

ESA: Because you are based in Durban, when are you looking to come to Johannesburg?

Bandile: iGoli li shesha kakhulu (Joburg is very fast). I only go to Joburg to work and as soon as they say we have wrapped up our shoot, I am on the first plane back to Durban. It is a place that I come to for work and I go back home. I prefer being in Durban. 

Tune in to SABC 1 weekdays at 8:30pm to watch Bandile Maphalala in action as Hawu on Season 10 of Uzalo, and discover the adventures awaiting Hawu this season.

Main image: Instagram @uzalo_sabc1

The post Meet Bandile Maphalala: Bringing Hawu to Life in Uzalo Season 10 appeared first on EntertainmentSA News South Africa.

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