Masoja Msiza (born October 5, 1964) is a 58-year-old South African actor who hit stardom with his role as the villainous crime lord, Nkunzi Mhlongo, in Uzalo. The rare acting prowess displayed by Masoja on set led fans to ask questions about his true identity, which further thrust him to fame.
The Uzalo star had initially tried forging a career in different fields, but his passion for the performing arts always drew him back to the movies until he scored his first role. To date, he has recorded many roles in different productions – both in the movies and on TV. Away from acting roles, the Uzalo star has shown competence in other fields such as music, poetry, writing, and many more.
- Full Name: Masoja Josiah Msiza
- Nickname: Nkunzi
- Gender: Male
- Date of Birth: October 5, 1964
- Masoja Msiza’s Age: 58 Years Old
- Ethnicity: Black
- Nationality: South African
- Zodiac Sign: Libra
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Religion: Christianity
- Marital Status: Divorced
- Masoja Msiza’s Husband/Wife: Innocentia
- Famous For: Acting
- Masoja Msiza’s Instagram: @masojamsiza
Masoja Msiza Is A Child Of The 60s
The SA province of Gauteng known as Kwa-Thema is where the South African thespian was born. Masoja Msiza’s date of birth is recorded as the 5th October 1965, making him 58 years of age. His given name at birth is Masoja Josiah Msiza, but he goes with Masoja Msiza. His background info is not readily accessible but it is common knowledge that he was not brought up by his biological parents.
His mom who had four children from different men fell sick at a point, and his children had to be distributed among relatives. The actor spent most of his growing up years in Kwa Thema township located in east of Joburg. Reports say it was the entertainer’s grandmother who took charge of his upbringing. Masoja’s formative years exposed him to a plethora of languages, including isiZulu which he learned without much assistance.
Masoja didn’t get to meet the man who gave him life until he clocked 14. The details of their meeting were never made public and the fact that the actor barely makes reference to his father speaks volumes. Obviously, it was too late to create a father/son bond at that stage.
The Absence of A Father Figure Nearly Led Him Astray
Needless to say, growing up without a father figure was tough on Masoja, according to the Uzalo star, it got to a stage where his mind got paralyzed. Talking to a source, he revealed his views on women, Msiza said he thought it was necessary for macho men to use brutal strength on their female folks, just to prove their superiority in society.
The South African movie star also revealed how he used to drink heavily and couldn’t differentiate between what is right and what is not. Msiza thought it was normal to address his female folks in a very bad manner, however, he only came to realize his mistake as he matured. Concluding, Masoja Msiza said he now knows that women are to be protected and never bullied. He seems to be all out to teach the menfolk how to treat their women right and get them to imbibe some gentlemanly behaviors too.
His Academic Qualifications Stopped At Secondary School Level
Fans who know Masoja’s level of success in the entertainment industry would be surprised to hear that he never obtained any higher academic qualifications to qualify him for the roles he has played in both the movies and television. The Kwa Thema native only attended high school and after his matric, went to work at the mines.
Many would find it hard to believe but all those beautiful lines of poetry, his album, and the poetry book were feats achieved with just a high school qualification.
His Career Has A Finger In Every Entertainment Pie
Masoja Msiza is one South African entertainer who enjoys a multi-faceted career. He started as a poet, composing and publishing beautiful pieces of poetry before deciding to try his hands at a stage production. Masoja’s foray into theater birthed some notable plays, leading to his debut on TV as an onscreen actor. The intelligent thespian is also part of the SA music industry, and he is an acclaimed storyteller. From what is obvious, Msiza appears to have a finger in every entertainment pie.
His Acting Talent Manifested At A Very Young Age
The actors’ passion for the performing arts has been obvious since his childhood and the first sign of it manifested at the tender age of nine. Masoja was just in the process of acquiring basic education when he started enjoying participation in his school’s drama and art classes. By the time the star clocked 14, his school organized a drama competition in which he participated and emerged the winner. The Kwa Thema native was also participating in drama in his local church.
With his academic pursuit done and dusted, Masoja Msiza went to look for work in other fields just to put food on the table. The entertainer was eventually employed in the mining field where he worked alongside other miners. In the long run, he collaborated with his colleagues to organize a strike action which resulted in his dismissal; both Masoja and his colleagues who organized the strike were relieved of their duties. Speaking about the incident later, the movie star saw it as a blessing in disguise as it led him to start following his long-held dream of becoming part of the South African entertainment industry.
Thus, with nothing else to do, Masoja went in search of acting roles and luck smiled on him when the Gibson Kente directed play, Mfowethu agreed to feature him on set.
His Best Known Role Is The Action-Packed Telenovela – Uzalo
The lead role of Nkunzebomvu “Nkunzi” Mhlongo on the set of SABC 1’s Uzalo is that of a hardened ruthless criminal who cannot be put off from achieving his goals even when it involves the spilling of human blood. Such was the role that brought Masoja Msiza to public attention – Nkunzi’s obsession with power and money turns him into a brute and the effect it has on the people around are none of his business. On the set of South Africa’s most-watched soapie, Nkunzi was seen as the kingpin of the Bhebhe clan which runs a gamut of criminal activities, including hijacking, money laundering, and extortion. The villainous gang leader carried out most of his operations in the KwaMashu community where he is also a resident.
There in KwaMashu, Nkunzi created a niche for himself, building a legitimate business in the process, but those criminal activities were still going on underground. The authorities in the community were obviously not sleeping as the callous crime lord caught police attention. KwaMashu police department head, Captain Mondli Mdlalose placed him under constant watch as the plot unfolds.
Yes, we agree that Nkunzi behaves crazily, however, one thing that can be said for the crime lord is that he loves his family to distraction and is ready to do anything for them. Regardless of any ensuing consequences, he is always ready to grant the wishes of his wife, Mangcobo, and daughter, and that particular trait led him to win the hearts of millions of fans.
Living the two-faced life of a loving husband cum father and a brutal criminal made the viewing public receive Masoja Msiza’s Nkunzi character with missed feelings. People came to either hate or love him with varying intensities. Remove his villainous activities on the set of the action-filled telenovela, Masoja is one of the best actors on set. With his character, he arouses public interest, the man lives his role on screen, and it is this attribute that has endeared the movie star to many who would have preferred to hate him.
Hate him or love him, fans can never get enough of Masoja. In fact, he is one of the reasons people have remained glued to the screen, watching the telenovela even after hundreds of episodes. Uzalo can never be boring, so long as Masoja keeps unleashing those nefarious activities on one side and showing off his loving disposition on the other side. The versatile thespian is already 845 episodes down and still counting.
People’s Views On Masoja Msiza’s Role Interpretation and What He Has to Say
Since Masoja Msiza first appeared on the set of Uzalo, the Kwa-Thema-born star’s role has triggered a lot of questions from fans and the viewing public. People have inquired whether the character is anything like the actor in real life. They have also speculated about the entertainer’s age, whether the age he plays is the same as his real-life age.
Another intriguing question that has been raised about Msiza has to do with his onscreen voice. People have wondered whether he actually speaks with that strange hoarse voice away from the screen. A Twitter user once imagined having a father that would call you with that tone of voice, describing it as scary.
All these questions about the Uzalo star are expected and Masoja is well aware of the fact that they were asked out of curiosity, thus, he took time to address them himself.
According to the multi-talented thespian, his actions on TV are never a part of his life as he is a completely different person off the screen. In his description, Masoja likened himself to a plum – an attractive fruit that is equally delicious.
Though his Uzalo role is that of the bad guy, Masoja Msiza views it in the light of another form of art. Describing it as “A way to give hope,” the actor says it isn’t about him but about leveraging his craft to narrate a story. In conclusion, Masoja said actors would normally wait for that right role that would make them relatable to people and he sure waited for his Nkunzi role, and playing it he said, has been a great honor.
Is Nkunzi Leaving Uzalo?
As 2021 was coming to an end, speculations about the possibility of Masoja Msiza being fired from the telenovela ran rife. The rumors were sparked from the fact that the soapie has had many major cast members exit in the past and these happened within a moment’s notice. Besides, the soap opera is no stranger to sacking actors without notice, a good instance is the case of Sphelele Mzimela (Mazaza) who got kicked out because she got pregnant which wasn’t in the plot. We are yet to factor in those that got the sack for demanding bigger remuneration and several others like that.
Going by the recent twist in the plot, we saw the Khanyile siblings, Thulane and Godfather exit the series after they were killed by Nkunzi. From what is obvious, the same trend seems to be playing out between Manqcobo and Nkunzi as they engage in a power tussle to see who emerges as kingpin. Nkunzi is obviously gunning for the position of the ultimate don which doesn’t go down well with Manqcobo. This fierce battle for supremacy between the two villains is what led fans to predict that Manqcobo might avenge Thulane and Godfather’s murder and kill Nkunzi which will see his end on set.
As the new year was ushered in, the speculations caught fire with many asking if the end of the kingpin of the Bhebhe clan was at hand. Will KwaMashu be finally rid of all his villainous activities? Nobody seems to have answers to these questions but neither the production company nor its publicity team has said anything about the actor’s exit which is an indication of the fact that the villain of Uzalo is likely to stick around longer than you expect.
Fans and the viewing public cannot begin to envisage what will happen if Masoja was to check out of the telenovela. Their likely reaction is sure to be akin to a riot. The actor’s eloquence is the type that makes people want to sit and listen to him throughout the day, his natural gift of playing with words is one that viewers would not want to miss, and that hoarse voice that people love to hate distinguishes him from the crowd.
Masoja is Quite Prolific In His Acting Roles
Nkunzi may be his best-known role but the Kwa-Thema native has recorded notable roles in other productions like A Million Colors in 2011 and Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu where he was featured as Rev. Ndlovu in 2016.
Masoja Msiza was part of the cast of Sokhulu & Partners in 2011, breathing life into the character of Mthethwa. The next year, he was seen in the 2012 movie Zama Zama as Oliver, 2014 was when he starred in the TV series, Making Cents with the Sitholes as the title character, Cent Sitholes, and in 2016, he appeared in a single episode of the drama series, Ring of Lies as Mandla; he also played Mandla in Mfolozi Street.
The veteran actor graced the screen in several other notable productions on TV, including A Place Called Home as Hudson, Inkaba as Goodman, Intersexions as Mhinga, Isibaya portraying Bhodlimpi, Isidingo as Saul, and Jozi Streets as Vusi.
Masoja played himself in Shreds and Dreams, he was the Bheki we saw in Mthunzini.com, Rhythm City featured him as Joe Malefane, and he appeared as Welcome in Umlilo. The actor’s other projects include Zabalaza where he was cast as Larry in 2013. He was in Zone 14 as Thomas and joined the cast of Ya Lla as Gate Guard.
Masoja Msiza has proved to be quite prolific with his acting roles and from the feelers we are getting; he has enough gigs lined up for the coming years.
The actor has also proved his mettle in hosting, on the 22nd of June 2019, he collaborated with Dudu Khoza in presenting the debut annual Cothoza Music Awards that was hosted by Ladysmith Black Mambazo – the South African multiple-award-winning A-cappella group. Below is a list of his movie and television roles so far
Film and Television Roles For Masoja Msiza
• Sokhulu & Partners in 2011 (as Mthethwa)
• Zama Zama in 2012)(as Oliver)
• Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu in 2016 (as Rev. Ndlovu)
• A Million Colours (2011)
• A Place Called Home (as Hudson)
• Inkaba (as Goodman)
• Intersexions (as Mhinga)
• Isibaya (as Bhodlimpi)
• Isidingo (as Saul)
• Jozi Streets (as Vusi)
• Mfolozi Street (as Mandla)
• Mthunzini.com (as Bheki)
• Rhythm City (as Joe Malefane)
• Ring of Lies (as Mandla)
• Shreds and Dreams (as Msoja Msiza)
• Umlilo (as Welcome)
• Zabalaza (2013) (as Larry)
• Zone 14 (as Thomas)
• Ya Lla (as Gate Guard)
• Uzalo (as Nkunzebomvu Mhlongo)
He Has Displayed Competence in Writing Poems and Songs
One would not be totally wrong to describe Masoja Msiza as a man with a fountain of talents. His acting skills have been lauded by millions of fans and critics but when you come down to his style of poetry, you will bow to the thespian’s superior knowledge.
When Tunisia hosted the AFCON tournament in 2004, Masoja penned beautiful poems for the SA National Team, the Bafana Bafana. In addition to writing promo poems for Ukhozi FM, the Kwa Thema-born star also performed several of them for the country’s largest radio station. Below is a comprehensive list of some of his poems and songs:
- Time to Rhyme
- The Click Poem
- The 8th Man
- Hamba Nami
- My Love (Condomly)
- My Skin
- Women and the Ocean
Masoja has dropped one album dubbed Time to Rhyme. Reports say he is working on a twelve-track album that is going to be addressing social ills, condemn gender-based violence, as well as inequality and blessers.
He Has Authored A Couple of Poetry Books
Masoja does not just write poems, he is also noted for compiling his poems into poetry books. So far, he has succeeded in publishing two – The Voice of Hope and Avalon. His album is a blend of dramatic poetry with all music genres. gospel artists, Swigili and Fikile Mlomo assisted in the compilation, though he singlehandedly undertook most of the work.
Talking about the world today, Masoja Msiza described it as a state of confusion – a world where people neglect their roles in society and end up blaming others. One of the actor’s greatest wishes is to build a world where kids are free. Masoja who is considered to be a father figure and mentor to millions has been working towards achieving this free world through his skill which he leverages in condemning social ills. Many have described this as impressive and something deserving of encouragement.
He Shares His Work With Fans Through Instagram
Though he appears to love his privacy, the celebrated actor has established a presence on social media platforms, especially Instagram. On his IG page, he focuses on sharing work-related stuff and also creates awareness about his work. Fans who wish to share in his Insta Stories can locate him @masojamsiza.
Awards and Nominations For Masoja Msiza
The versatile entertainer has been nominated for one award. In 2018, Dstv Mzansi Magic Viewers Choice Awards nominated him in the category of Best Actor. He was once nominated as DStvMVCA’s Favourite Male Actor. Considering the speed at which he is moving, the veritable entertainer may likely score more accolades in the nearest future.
Masoja Msiza Has Been Married and Divorced
Masoja Msiza is the type of celebrity that loves to keep the details of their personal life well away from the prying eyes of the public. However, we do get tidbits about his family life from time to time. It is rather ironic that many envy the Nkunzi/Mangcobo onscreen chemistry but what they do not know is that the reality is far from rosy for Msiza.
The Uzalo actor was once married but things didn’t go well with his union and he is now divorced. Facts about his marriage never made it to the public space but his ex-wife’s name has been revealed as Innocentia, however, her profession is not known. The sad part of his divorce is that it was Innocentia who got full custody of their kids.
It is not clear when Masoja exchanged marriage vows with Innocentia, but the duo must have been married for many years. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that they are parents to three children – a boy and two girls. It is not known whether Innocentia was his first wife but there are no records of any other before her and none has come after the mother of three.
This is What The Actor thinks About His Present Marital Status
Being divorced and away from his kids has not been easy for the movie and television actor as he has severally confessed to missing his children, including those close to him.
Remembering how he and his siblings grew up in different homes, Masoja said he never believed that the same fate will befall his kids one day. After suffering so much in life, the entertainer really wanted that cycle of living apart to end with him, but the reverse seems to be the case. Now, he only gets to see his children during Christmas or whenever he comes to Joburg. The Uzalo star said the divorce was beyond his control.
Masoja has also given voice to his fears regarding the present-day trend where young girls with promising futures prefer to date older men known as blessers. Most of these girls do it for material gain and this is one of the trends he wishes to change with his long-expected albums. The movie star said he is really scared that his two daughters may see dating these blessers as a shortcut to quick and easy money.