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Former Generations: The Legacy actor to play Jacob Zuma in new play

2018-07-11 14:23
JT Medupe
JT Medupe (PHOTO: JT Medupe Instagram)

Former Generations – The Legacy actor and professional stage actor JT Medupe is set to play Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma in the theatre production Khwezi, Say My Name.

The production is taken from the story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi. The play is written and directed by Multi-Award Winner Napo Masheane.

JT says portraying the role of former South African president Jacob Zuma is both exciting and nerve wrecking.

“I feel a combination of excitement, nervousness, and fear because the story is very controversial. Jacob Zuma is a man of power. Although he is no longer president, his role requires me to be brave, fearless and to try and portray his character as honestly as possible.”

JT says his approach on the play will be based on the story written by Redi and nothing else.

“I want to tell Fezekile’s story in a way that will make her proud and bring Jacob’s character to life,” he told DRUM.

JT has had to do a lot of research for the part. “I watched almost all his interviews, I observed his mannerisms, his body language, speech patterns and even the funny moments.”

T left Generations – The Legacy in 2017 after his contract was not renewed.

“I was not killed on the show, Jonathan just went overseas, so who knows, maybe I’ll get a chance to go back and I would be happy to do so.”

Since then, JT has featured in a few productions including the successful run of King Kong where he played Leadpipe, until he auditioned for the role on Khwezi, Say My Nam.

“We were called to audition at the State theatre but we were not informed anything about the production. On the day of the audition, we were given a monologue and told about the production.” JT said he was shocked as he had never thought he would ever play the role of former president but was pleased when the director Napo Masheane chose him.

“I am looking forward to the challenge and it’s a sad story but it is one that needs to be told.”

JT’s debut as on television was his role as Tebogo on Sokhulu and Partners, a drama series on SABC1. Other TV shows include YOTV, Isidingo, Rockville, and Generations The Legacy where he portrayed the mischievous Jonathan Motene.

That was followed by three feature films; Second Chance, Phindile's heart and Descent.