Dumi Masilela is one of South Africa’s young entertainers with great potential. This young man first made a name for himself as a soccer star, then went on to wow music fans as one of Idols season 8 contestants, now an actor on one of South Africa’s leading soapies. He looks good, he sings well, he is humble and he is unfortunately in a relationship….I caught up with him nonetheless at SET Venue in Rosebank to hear about his aspirations as an entertainer.
Bonnie: Dumi, welcome to Jucy Africa.
Dumi: Yo wasssup!!!
Bonnie: Briefly tell us about who Dumi is.
Dumi: Dumi is just a kid from Kempton Park, representing Tembisa. A kid that has a dream and all about breaking new barriers, showing people that there is better and there is more out there, even the ordinary person on the street. That’s what I’m all about.
Bonnie: We saw you on Idols, you have also played for Super Sport United. Please tell us about all those experiences.
Dumi: Yeah, I have played for Super Sport United Football Club and University Of Pretoria. I haver had a professional career before getting into entertainment. I got into an accident and I couldn’t play for 3 and a half years, I then spent a lot of time playing my piano and working on my music. Entering Idols was part of my journey from my recovery.
Bonnie: How was the Idols journey?
Dumi: The journey on Idols was very interesting. You know, you see the industry in 3D and you learn on how to be a better performer, engage with a crowd, singing for an audience watching at home. It’s a lot of work, there is a lot of preparation and production stuff that most people don’t get to see.
Bonnie: So what have been your highlights?
Dumi: On Idols, my biggest highlight was on the Top 34 when I sang Danny K’s I Get Up Again. Also the group stages, that’s where it got heated and even more exciting. The energy we had as a group was amazing. We put in a lot of effort into that performance.
Bonnie: Now you are an actor! Tell us about how that came about.
Dumi: Yeah!!!! Miraculously, Rhythm City was watching Idols and I got a call whilst still on Idols. They were like ‘Hey man listen, do come audition for this role, we have a great story”… I with no acting experience was very keen and I decided to go for it. I respect art and I respect the people who study this art and make it come to life, so I had to learn to be able to deliver as much, as far as my character is concerned.
Bonnie: As a new actor in the industry, what really stood out for you? What was so new to you that made you in awe,perhaps?
Dumi: You know what, in acting, I think it’s just taught me to let emotions take control because I think when you are your own person, when you are hurt, it’s somehow easy to hide those emotions.
Bonnie: Now let’s talk about you and the female attention you get. How do you deal?
Dumi: I think as far as that’s concerned, firstly, I’m a guy that takes care of himself and care about my image. When people appreciate that, it’s a bonus. I appreciate it even more when they love my work. The female attention is to just keep me on track. I am just focused on working hard and building my work whilst still looking good.
Bonnie: Let’s talk about you aspirations. What’s next for you and how is the future looking from where you are standing?
Dumi: As far as what’s next for me, I have no idea. I never make decisions regarding my future. I never woke up one day and decided I would play football professionally, nor did I plan to sing and act. It’s just how my stars are lined and I intend to walk in line with them. I am inspired by ordinary people, doing extraordinary things and I strive to be that person inspiring the next person. I don’t think I want to be that cool guy, I want to motivate people.
Bonnie: What’s your take on celebrity life? Is it as glamourous as we perceive it to be? Is it as fake as some people say it is?
Dumi: You can’t really say you know this celebrity life. We encounter different people and the experiences are never the same. For me, it has never been about the fame but about getting a platform to express myself as an artist and to live to inspire. I can’t really say it’s dope but obviously life changes, people recognize you, people appreciate you and listen to you when you speak. You don’t have to be at every event or every magazine, you just need to associate yourself with brands that reasonate with you. I am loving my life and all the things that come with it.
Bonnie: What/who inspires you?
Dumi: I am inspired by my fear. If I fear something then I know that’s something I should go after and attain. I believe that your fear is the one thing that stops you from being better than yourself and you don’t know what’s better than yourself because you are fearing but until you chase it out and rediscover everything. Things I achieve through having feared and having had courage to ditch that fear are the ones I appreciate the most. My life is about progressing and living fully. I am still at the door of my career and I believe I have much more to look forward to, God willing, I will go far. There is a reason I started where I started, there is more to come. I am currently working on my mixtape, then my album so it’s about redefining myself.
Bonnie: Who are the three people that you think you would love to work with in music?
Dumi: There are so many influential people in the game right now that I would love to work with, like AKA, Khuli Chana, Ifani who is doing really well. We need to tell different stories apart from bling, cars and chicks. There are girls who look as good as they do at clubs and yet they are running away from broken homes. I wanna tell such stories in my music.
Bonnie: Idols was a great platform and I’m sure you made friends there. Of all the contestants who are you closest to?
Dumi: I am closest to Obakeng Ramaboa and Khaya Mthethwa.
Bonnie: Now tell us about the three Jucy people you know. The ones you think the entire Africa needs to know about.
Dumi: Whew!!!! I’m sorry but I’ll do a bit of international! Drake is great and I love the fact that he was an actor before becoming this great rapper he is known to be now. Dr Malinga is incredible. People ridicule him but there is no one like him, he stands out and that’s very rare. He has that X factor! Lastly, my Mom! Oh my mom is as Jucy! She is my pillar of strength, that voice of reason. When I’m chilling in studio at night and I can’t hit that note,or I’m sick, she’s the one to drive to the studio, bring me whatever I need, be it med lemon or anything. She sacrifices so much for me.
Bonnie: How spiritual are you?
Dumi: I won’t say I am very spiritual but I have a great relationship with God.
Bonnie: What are you currently reading?
Dumi: There’s a book callled The Shack. It’s about spirituality, adversity and life as a journey.
Bonnie: What are currently listening to now?
Dumi: A lot of Kendrick Lamar! Drake, Bruno Mars, Miguel.
Bonnie: Who are your acting idols?
Dumi: Denzel Washinton….cliched I know! I have also been blessed to work with people like KB Motsilanyane and Peter Se-phuma who have been in this industry for long. I’ts amazing to seee how much effort people put in their craft even after so many years.
Bonnie: Pearl Thusi or Lalla Hirayama?
Bonnie: What makes you angry?
Dumi: People who are don’t keep time.
Bonnie: What makes you happy?
Dumi: Love makes me happy.
Bonnie: What is love?
Dumi: Love is the reason why one wants to be a better man, the reason why people grow and realize they are somehow destined to be together.
Bonnie: You are new in the industry, and one of the hottest guys, people are curious. Are you single?
Dumi: I am not single. I am just a normal guy with close people I have known over the years and my girlfriend is one of those people.
Bonnie: How can your fans get hold of you?
Dumi: Please follow me on twitter @Dumi_Masilela1 and on Instagram at Dumi360 and on Facebook I’m Dumi Masilela.
Bonnie: Your last words to your fans?
Dumi: Imagination is like a seed and your brain is like fertile soil so plant your dream and nurture it and learn.
Bonnie: Dumi it’s been a pleasure talking to you, thank you for your time. We wiah you all the best in life. Stay Jucy!!!
Dumi: Dankie much Jucy Africa, keep the swag alive!
By: Bonnie Meslane. Jucy Africa’s Entertainment blogger with Public Administration and Politics degree, who also happens to love fashion, music and all things beautiful and colourful.
Photography: Lee @ThickLeeyonce. www.leephottoshots.tumblr.com
Make Up: Mina Shembe @Minaashe
Styling: Sithembiso Mngadi
Location: Set Venue. Rosebank www.setvenue.co.za