UZALO CAST: Bheki Mkhwane as Melusi Mdletshe on Uzalo


uzalo5Melusi grew up as royalty in rural KZN, but he and his older brother were influenced by their uncle who stood up to the apartheid government, but in so doing, was deposed as a chief.

They looked to their uncle with great admiration, but grew to despise their father who kept the perks of royalty by colluding with the oppressive system of apartheid. While they were only teenagers they decided to leave the privileges of royalty and joining the ANC in its fight against the government.

When they got to Durban, the big city, they found out that Melusi was too young to join and would have to wait two years in order to do so. His older brother however was given membership and soon left the country for training with the ANC.

Melusi stayed behind to wait out the 2 years, but in that time was struck by the plight and poverty of his people. He noticed that there was a church that was doing all it could to make a material difference to the lives of black South Africans. They took him in and he began to work with them.

The church was educating, feeding, hiding and helping black people and although it wasn’t the ‘glamorous’ life of a freedom fighter he began to buy into its necessity and when he was at the age he could join the ANC, he decided not to and instead carried on at the church with ambitions of becoming a pastor himself.

He met Zandile, his wife, at the church. She was quiet and reserved, but seemed smart and like a woman who had seen many things and suffered much. Melusi still finds himself trying to coax his wife out of her head and her seemingly deep and troubled inner life.

BIO: Bheki Mkhwane

Bheki Mkhwane is a South African actor, mime, director, producer, composer and playwright best known for his association with Ellis Pearson, the pair of whom have produced and performed in numerous stage plays including A Boy Called Rubbish, Kaboom!, Amazwi Omoya, Skadonk, iLobola and more.

He is best known to television viewers for his starring role as Samson, the head of the Ndlovu clan who is aligned with his hot-headed brother, Mandla (played by Bongani Gumede), in the Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soap-opera isiBaya.

Mkhwane grew up in Kwa-Mashu township. Poor, street-wise and a formidable football player, he was inspired by the legendary Gibson Kente to become an actor.

From street-wise to worldly-wise, Bheki’s range as an actor has enabled him to work with major theatre companies (encompassing a range of plays from Shakespeare to Athol Fugard), host television shows, work as a film actor, develop his superb talent as a story teller and so tour the world with his own work.

Bheki was born and raised in Durban.


Uzalo is on SABC1 Mondays to Wednesdays at 20h30.