Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
SEPTEMBER 2014 will forever be etched in local actor Thubelihle Ncube’s heart and mind.
Not because he won the lotto, but because he, and two colleagues almost lost their lives in a devastating car accident.
Together with his friends, Thubelihle stared death in the face as the car they were traveling in was involved in an accident, rolling three times in the process.
The horrific accident happened when Thuba and his friends where on their way to Carltonville in the neighbouring South Africa.
Thubelihle was physically unscathed, but was wounded emotionally after seeing his colleagues in pain because of serious physical injuries that saw them hospitalised.
The accident could have ended his life and career, but it had a Damascus effect on him.
“Apart from thinking that my career was about to end, the most horrifying thought was losing my life. The accident made me change my life as I was living a reckless life without much direction. Those are the moments that define your continuity in life and a brash with death was an eye-opener for me.
“The accident was bad, but also the wakeup call I needed. After the accident, I had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It was such a stressful period in my life. I struggled when traveling in a taxi or a small car especially at high speed. It took me months and going to a resort in East London to start feeling better.
“I developed amaxophobia and I had a hard time trusting any vehicle driver, whenever I boarded a car, images of the day of the accident would flash before my very eyes,” said Thubelihle.
Amaxophobia is the persistent and intense fear of cars, including being in or riding in a vehicle.
Introspectively, Thubelihle realised that his daredevilry style of living was only counter-productive and this sired a
“new Thubelihle” that would take his second chance at life with more seriousness.
As a PTSD survivor, he took it upon himself to teach others about the condition.
He had to “redeem lost time” and what better way to do so than pursuing your dream?
Cultivating this newly found mentality was the genesis for the 40-year-old actor to feature in a plethora of big screen productions in South Africa that include Isibaya, The River, Hope, Salvation, Making a Killing and Isono.
He has also featured in commercials for reputable companies such as Clientele Legal, Men’s clinic, Cambridge Foods, Forever Resorts, Hulu TV, Supersport, Go TV, and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
He was also advertised for Denim on the Bona magazine and ANOVA enlisted his services for a billboard commercial.
The actor, who also happens to be a graphic designer, runs a vibrant YouTube channel for spoofs with some of South African renowned actors.
“We also do web series with my friends. We have one on YouTube called Real Actors of Mzansi starring myself, Zizi Peteni and Mnqobi Duma. Shot and directed by Lungile Mayindi, the show highlights the lives of actors here (South Africa). From their struggles to their success. It’s a satire,” he said.
So how did Thuba become an actor?
He said: “My love for acting started at a young age when I used to go watch mostly Kung Fu movies at the Beit Hall in Luveve. The stunts on those Chinese movies were just a marvel to watch and though it was pretty dangerous to try them at home or school, they were just irresistible.”
Thuba, a South African resident for as long as he can remember, vividly remembers the “good old days” when children used to watch movies on projectors in community halls.
The former Milton High student is not surprised he ended up becoming an actor as he was influenced by the movies he watched as a child. Frequenting bioscopes to watch the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Bruce Lee, saw Thuba gravitating towards being an actor. – @eMKlass_49.