Andile Gumbi was the face of a famous international show The Lion King, but he has left Broadway in New York and is now a star in the local award-winning drama Isibaya. It’s his first TV gig.
He said he was in New York when Duma Ndlovu told him they were looking for someone to play the role of Zweli Ntshangase.
“I was in theatre for a very long time,” Andile said. “I was excited when I met Vusi Kunene and Zinhle Mabena to audition for Isibaya.
I saw this as an opportunity to spread my wings. I didn’t hesitate, and since then I haven’t looked back.”
Andile said while he was growing up in Umlazi, KZN, he was never sure what he wanted to be.
“I kept switching between wanting to be a doctor or an accountant, but while I was studying accountancy I realised I didn’t want to be either of them,” said Andile.
“The desire to perform became stronger and I couldn’t ignore it.”
Andile said his parents were worried that he was making the wrong choice but through his love and passion for performing, his family also began to support his dream.
He said he feels the role of Zweli in Isibaya suits him perfectly.
“While there are similarities between myself and Zweli, there are also differences.”
He said he loves all the beautiful things that life has to offer.
“TV offers me the opportunity to be surrounded by the heavyweights of the industry.
“Theatre is a solid foundation and it has taught me a lot but I learn amazing things from the people who have been in TV longer than me,” he said.
“While I was doing The Lion King I had to be loud and bold but TV is up close and personal.”
He has other ambitions as well. “My ultimate dream is to act in international movies in Hollywood,” he said.