Get to know the contestants behind BET’s reality show Top Actor Africa with profiles including pictures.
Top Actor Africa is hosted by Zikhona Sodlaka and the contestants are South Africans Shamilla Miller and Simhle Belinda Plaatjies from Cape Town, Farrell Drew from Durban and Marilyn Sekgapane, Jesse Suntele, Hendrik Lombard and Sabelo Sibeko from Johannesburg. Representing Nigeria are Tobechi Nneji, Uriel Oputa and Ifeanyi Dike, while flying the flag for Kenya are Lorreine Wangui Gakuo and Alex Khayo.
The contestants will be competing for the chance to win the title of “Top Actor Africa”. At stake: a career-launching prize package that includes US$10,000 in cash, a one-year contract with international representation and access to Hollywood auditions
Get to know them by reading the below!
Farrell Drew (24) – Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
A drama class is where Farrell’s passion for acting first got started.
A student in Drama and Production at the Durban University of Technology, he heard about the Top Actor Africa via Facebook and managed to get his lecturers to move his exams forward so he could make it onto the show after hearing that he had been chosen.
Hendrick Lombard (20) – Pretoria, South Africa
After various different jobs and failed relationships, Hendrick decided to try his hand at acting.
He landed numerous roles as an extra and featured extra and even had a small role in “Resident Evil”. After winning a part as a featured extra in a South African daily drama, he decided that acting was the life for him. He has no formal acting training.
Lorraine Wangui Gakuo (23) – Kenya
Lorraine’s first dramatic role at school was the part of “Anna” in “The King and I”.
After school she studied International Business Administration specialising in Marketing and Minor in Japanese Language. She studied French at school and also has passion for languages.
She chose Japanese because she found it unique, disciplined and polite. She has been a provincial swimmer for her country. She has no formal acting training.
Alex Khayo (27) – Nairobi, Kenya
Before becoming an actor, Alex worked in marketing for a major mobile phone company in Kenya.
After being offered a role from a previous audition he went on to join Jicho Four productions, one of the leading stage plays productions in Kenya.
He continued doing marketing for various groups using his marketing skills, and subsequently ran into one of the household to a Kenyan TV producer who offered him a minor role in the TV series “Angel’s Diary“.
Shamilla Miller (27) – Cape Town, South Africa
Shamilla is a graduate of Live Performance and Film from AFDA who has had the opportunity to work with the likes of David Kramer and Alfred Rietman and has acted in numerous international and local commercials as well as cameo roles on a few international and local films.
Sabelo Sibeko (23) – Johannesburg, South Africa
Sport was always the main event for soccer player Sabelo who played for SA soccer team Jomo Cosmos.
Always keen in acting, Sabelo sees landing in the top 12 of Top Actor Africa as a huge opportunity for him to follow his dream. He has no formal acting training.
Simhle Belinda Plaatjies (22) – Cape Town, South Africa
Simhle has always loved having an audience; her passion for performance started at a very young age, when she went to acting classes at the Baxter Theatre.
While the other children were hanging about during break she would be creating choreography and dancing with her friends for fun.
Marilyn Eskgapane (23) – Kroonstad
Former accountancy student, Marilyn always had a passion for acting, and remembers acting and singing in front of her family from an early age. She has no formal acting training.
Ifeanyi Dike Jr. (22) – Lago, Nigeria
Ifeanyi started his acting career in 2012 on Nigerian soapie, Tinsel where he discovered his passion for acting.
He feels that it is a powerful medium to get a message across and to assist people. Ifeanyi has recently been seen on MTV Base in the role of “Michael” in drama series “MTV Shuga”.
Jesse Ambrose Suntele (23) – Johannesburg, South Africa
Jess studied sound engineering but discovered a love of acting during his participation in numerous school plays.
After landing the very first professional audition he went to, he realised that he actually had a genuine talent for acting.
Jesse has gone on to act in numerous commercials and most recently has appeared on South Africa drama series “Ashes to Ashes”. He has no formal acting training.
Uriel Ngozika Chukwu (29) – Nigeria
Uriel first got involved in drama at school and loves being on stage.
She has spent her life singing and has produced a few house tracks that have played on radio in Nigeria.
She lives in Nigeria and makes a living by creating wigs and making music. She has no formal acting training.
Tobechi Nneji (28) – Lagos, Nigeria
Tobechi studied for a BSc in Economics at the Madonna University in Nigeria before working in several states across Nigeria as a radio presenter. No formal acting training.
Be sure to tune into Top Actor Africa @ 19:30 every Tuesday from March 01 on BET!