How South African choreographer managed to break barriers

How South African choreographer managed to break barriers

Having his skills molded at Theatre Academy in Kwamashe (KCAP) under the wings of Mr. Edmund Mhlongo, the 25-year-old South African Choreographer Khayalethu Mbili strives to shine in the world of arts industry as he hopes to find his on space in the international platform of arts. Born and breed in Kwazulu Natal (Durban) trained to be a future soccer star, that didn’t stop the talent within him to manifests.

As he had an opportunity to perform during his hey-days at school in the arts and entertainment competitions.

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“When my father introduced me to soccer. I spent most of my time naturally gravitating towards performing art, I knew that I wanted nothing more than to peruse a career in performing arts. I used to participate in every entertainment activity that happened at my school.”

However, during his journey, he faced financial challenges, his teachers believed in his dream and talented and chooses to support him.

When questioned why he joined theater, his response was theater it’s a platform that allows him to tell his and other people’s stories to the world.

“Theater influences the way we think, and feel about our own lives, it forces us to examine ourselves, our values and behaviors.

“It has helped me to express myself through telling the stories about my own life and the lives of others, which has made it easier when i get television casting opportunities, for I get to apply the skills and techniques learnt from the theatre’s perspective which enhances the character biography, emotions and relationships,” said Mbali.

In the year 2019, Khanya broke the ice as he entered in the professional world of arts. As he stepped into his first audition for ‘Joey Hunter’ from the IMTA (International modeling and talent Association in New York and Independent casting director at Tyler Perry studios), Rhayvnn Drumer where he was casted to attend a two-week training programme in New York.

However, with the rise of Covid19 the journey had to be put on hold.

Khaya’s prominence grew bigger, and he gained many followers in the year 2021, when he performed his first musical performance with ‘Gospel Musical’ for Maria, as one of the lead dancers. He also casted for,’ Sarafina the Broadway’.

The 25-year-old choreographer said, despite the growth of his popularity and dance curriculum vital.

He has faced pressure from the public that has once led him to depression, leading him to leave his neighborhood and migrating into another city.

“Some time ago i had to move away from neighborhood because I was experiencing a lot of pressure from my community. There was a point, I was diagnosed with depression,” he said.

Khaya has featured in some of South Africa’s telenovela such as: Durban Gen, Umkhoka (background cast), Reyka season (supporting act). In addition, he has choreographers for award winning musicians who include: Tns and Yashna.

He praised his mentors and some of those whom he worked with, stating that it was through them that his journey is a success.

“I have worked with well-known artists for their music videos, school shows, pageants which are all recognised international. This wouldn’t have happened without obtaining knowledge from the best choreographers. Tshediso Khobulo, Lucky Cele, C Ngema, Sandile Mkhize, Steven Chauke, Musa Hlatshwayo and others.

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“Without me grasping a little from these amazing choreographers i wouldn’t have had the knowledge and skills that I have now though I also feel i still need more choreography and technique training, informed Mbili.

Khaya suggested that for the arts industry to grow in Africa, the industry should educate the public on the importance when it comes to theatrical arts and empty its network, access to expertise and resources beyond its traditional base and in the service of the longer arts community.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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