Local actor making his mark on the nation’s screens

Zenzelisphesihle ‘Sparky’ Xulu.

Pietermaritzburg actor Zenzeli­sphesihle “Sparky” Xulu puts the city on the map as he stars in one of Mzansi’s biggest shows at the moment, The Herd.

The Maritzburg College old boy, from Imbali Unit 18, said he discovered his acting gift when he was in high school.

“I was never really into sports and academics so my love for acting came during my quest to find my true calling. I was quite intrigued by story-telling and being able to play different characters,” he said.

Xulu (28) said he started getting involved in school plays and after matric he went to Rhodes University to study theatre.

He finished his qualification at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg.

After graduating, Xulu worked as a performer for a theatre company in Grahamstown for three years, which saw him travelling across the country and neighbouring countries mastering the craft of acting.

In a leap of faith, Xulu moved to Johannesburg to pursue his acting career. He has no plan and no agent, just dreams of making it onto our big screens.

“Luckily, in three weeks I managed to get an agent and landed a lead role on the SABC 1 show called Mfolozi Street.”

From there, Xulu has been featured on several other shows from Isibaya, It’s Complicated, Zibondiwe,and Ambitions currently being aired on e.tv as well as other shows.

Xulu recently finished shooting The Herd, where he plays the role of Muzi. The show airs every Sunday on Mzansi Magic channel 161.

The local star is currently back home doing some work for his non-profit organisation, the Pietermaritzburg Arts Kollective, which seeks to create platforms for local, upcoming and aspiring actors.

He said they were trying to put together a Pietermaritzburg Arts Festival for December.

“My involvement in such initiatives comes from the frustration of not having platforms here at home and having to travel out of the city to get exposure and opportunities.

“Not everyone can afford the luxury of going to Johannesburg or Cape Town to look for opportunities.

“There might not be many big opportunities here in our city but we can at least create platforms for youngsters to be able to master their crafts for when they decide to go searching for better opportunities at bigger cities,” said Xulu.

Xulu said his biggest support structure was his parents and he went on to thank them for their support and for always having faith in his dreams.