How charmer Leroy Siyafa landed on SA’s Blood & Water series

23 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
How charmer Leroy Siyafa landed on SA’s Blood & Water series Leroy Siyafa on set

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
WHEN it comes to riveting entertainment, South Africa has a vice-grip like force on the African continent.

But it goes without saying that even with the locals having a lion’s share in the casting panel, foreigners are staking a huge claim in the film industry.

One lad who has not let his chance pass him is Zimbabwean-born Leroy Panashe Siyafa who is playing the Sam Nkosana role in the South African, Blood and Water Season 2 drama series. The series that is playing very popular on the continent was developed by Gambit Films for Netflix and released last month.

By landing this role of Fikile Bhele’s (played by Khosi Ngema) love interest, Leroy has joined a brood of nascent talent that is taking the South African film industry by storm and he does that with some poise.

Seemingly tailor-made for the big screen, Leroy’s charming personality instantly made him a darling to lovers of movies, especially since his appearance on Blood & Water Season 2 was not anticipated by the public. It made the appearance more intriguing.

At just 21, Leroy whose eloquent speaking of Shona wowed audiences, has viewers wrapped up on his little finger given his executing skills for his Sam role in the series that has racked millions on Netflix.

So, was Leroy born for the telly? Well, Leroy believes that he was born for everything but the big screen since he changed many sporting codes in pursuit for what would truly satiate his soul as he was at a crossroad in life.

He attributed his life behind the camera as God’s doing and also as a matter of “luck.”

Leroy believes that he was in the right place at the right time when all of this happened.

“Ndimwari, honestly,” commented Leroy as he took the brevity route when asked by Chronicle Showbiz about what he attributes his big break to.

The actor has for a long time claimed that instead of him pursuing theatre, the opposite actually happened and “God was presenting opportunities for him” and eventually, he ended up being the man he is today. On theatre pursuing him, Leroy cleared the air and threw a somewhat cat among the pigeon sentiment about how black, traditional parents tend to “choose” career paths for their children.

Now, this is a touchy subject in our society and it is no rocket science that parents want the best for their children and most of the times, “best” in Zimbabwe has something to do with the following career paths: doctor, pilot, engineer, policeman and so on.

Leroy fell on that bandwagon too and so as to keep the trend going, he would not directly pursue acting, but instead would go for Information Technology (IT) and majored in software development.

Leroy, born and bred in Budiriro, Harare, was synonymous to a rolling stone when it came to sports as he basically tried out every sporting code at his disposal. This was before he was fully exposed to the world of film when he moved to South Africa in 2008.

“In high school, I was involved in a host of sports and cultural activities such as Volleyball, Social Outreach, Table tennis, Debating, Soccer and at one stage even rugby,” chuckled the jovial actor.

His first coming-together with acting was when he received an academic scholarship to attend Elkanah House High School at Bloubergrant High School in South Africa.

Novice as he was, the directors cast him right into the deep end as he was given the leading role (which he did not audition for) in their school musical titled ‘District Six: The Musical.’

Leroy vividly remembers how he “nailed” that character and this, somewhat sprouted the seed that had for long been buried in his soul.

It is during this time that Leroy made a decision to unleash the dormant theatrical prowess that he always knew he possessed. No matter how hard he tried to silence the voice within him that was begging him to pursue acting, he failed and even signing up for a web development programme proved futile.

“It was time to make a decision and for me, there was only one way to go and that was film. Between software development and acting, something had to give in and the former did,” said Leroy.

For him, there was only one way out and to ensure that he kept in touch with his theatrical side, Leroy signed a contract with 3D Modelling Agency.

Blood and Water’s Leroy Siyafa and Khosi Ngema

Little did he know that signing up with that agency was going to be his springboard to stardom as producers came calling for his name, with the role of Sam in the series Blood & Water at stake.

Put to the test, Leroy executed the role to perfection and got the job that would make him one of Zimbabwe’s famous actors to appear on Netflix and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Tongayi Chirisa and Danai Gurira.

Leroy is the guy that also appears on commercials, most-notably with soft drink manufacturer Coca Cola.
Playing the role of Sam in the series gave Leroy a chance to rub shoulders with industry legends with his role affording him the chance to be in the presence of some of South Africa’s renowned television personalities.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with the likes of Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, Youngsta CPT, Tafara Nyatsanza and the rest of the team. It was a blessing of great magnitude. I learnt so much while filming Blood & Water and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside some industry legends,” highlighted Leroy.
So, how different or similar is Leroy Siyafa and Sam Nkosana?

“The only similarity between myself and my character is our personality. However, the experiences we both go through are very different. Playing Sam has taught me how to always prioritise my family ahead of anything else and to go the extra mile for the ones that I love.

“Also, I have learnt to be courageous and instill a go-getter mentality within me,” commented Leroy.

Blood and Water is surely dripped with Zimbabwean flare since even artistes like Jah Prayzah and DJ Tamuka have sprinkled some magic on the soundtrack with the Sadza Nemuriwo hit. — @eMKlass_49.

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