The Cast

Find out more about your favourite cast member and the character they play

Cast

  • Nozipho: Thando Dlamini
  • Sipho: Gift Mokhampanyane
  • Kylie: Claire Zijlestra
  • Thami: Gift Kubheka
  • Tumi: Mathapelo Matseke
  • Bonnie: Tertia Cotzee
  • Hamilton: Shaughn Reyneke
  • Thapelo: Japhta Mamabolo
  • Pule: Serai “Stoan” Seate
  • Pabi: Vuyelwa Booi
  • Clinton: Mortimer Williams
  • Mak: Mac Manaka
  • Bheki: Xolani Mali
  • Ntombi: Nomathamsanqa Baleka
  • Nozipho: Thando Dlamini
  • Sipho: Gift Mokhampanyane

Bios Of Key Members Of The Cast

Serai “Stoan” Seate (Pule)

Serai “Stoan” Seate most well known for his part in highly successful band, Bongo Muffin, has dreams of owning the biggest record label in South Africa. At present the record label is only one and half years old but Stoan says he has signed himself as a solo artist, Bongo Muffin, Dogs of War and there are others in the pipeline. No stranger to the entertainment industry for the last ten years, Stoan derives his name from his rap days when he was known as ‘Stoan Kold-T’. He was called to a screen test for Soul Buddyz claiming the part of teacher, Pule, with whom Stoan says he shares his pragmatic nature and ability to maintain a positive outlook.

Apart from a cameo in Molofish, his other TV work includes presenting Castle Loud from 2001 to 2003 and Lillizela the music game show, during 2004. He admires Tumisho Masha, better known to some as Dumisani in Isidingo and his Hollywood heroes are Robert de Niro and Al Pacino.

Pule in the series

Pule is a single, attractive, seTswana speaking, man who is young at heart and loves kids as he knows their world. He is charming – the kind of man women want to take home to meet their parents. However, he seems to enjoy his bachelor status and may be afraid to commit to a relationship. He is the Inner City School’s star English teacher and choir master and enjoys poetry. He can be vulnerable, but is able to express his feelings. At school he tends to take on too much, which may land him in trouble with colleagues. However, because he is very persuasive in an argument he tends to get away with things that others can’t. He drives a “babe” car, but can’t really afford the payments, as he is really bad with money. He lives in a bachelor flat in Berea.

Thando Dlamini (Nozipho)

As active in the arts as she is on the sports field the multi-talented Thando Dlamini is a real credit to Sacred Hearts College. When she’s not on stage singing, dancing or acting you will find this energetic 14-year old enjoying herself in the great outdoors where she’ll be playing either netball, volleyball or basketball. She also speaks three languages - Zulu, English and Sotho. Thando’s early career in drama has already seen her in a lead role in District Six, a school play, and she has one of the major roles in Soul Buddyz. One of three siblings, she plays the marimba to the delighted audience of her brother and sister.

Nozipho in the series

Nozipho is a likeable, energetic young girl who writes and recites poetry (as part of therapy). She also loves to sing and combines this with a beautiful voice and an independent spirit. She is bright, with a wry sense of humour. On the inside she is vulnerable, and displays the traits of a traumatized survivor. However she is very realistic about social and material things and tends to be wise beyond her years. She tries to hide her sadness in order not to be a burden to others. Her trauma has resulted in her tending to wear over sized clothes to protect her body from the prying eyes of male predators. She may have trust issues with males as a result of her rape two years before. We meet her by a neighbour who was convicted and sentenced to a prison term. She is not as close to her father as she used to be and feels guilty about it. She went to the Teddy Bear for counseling where she met Bonnie who was sexually abused. Bonnie knows Nozi is HIV positive as a result of their interaction at the Teddy Bear Clinic. Her dream is to become a great singer and to meet her idol, Musa Njoko.

Gift Mokhampanyane (Sipho)

Apart from a handful of school plays Gift Mokhampanyane, had no other acting experience when he landed a part in the all-popular Soul Buddyz by showing his talents at the audition. A drama and art student at the National School of the Arts, this 14-year old speaks English and Sotho. He is a continual source of entertainment to his mother who says he is, “cute, funny and makes me laugh.” He is a fan of local music, movies, soccer and watching TV.

He admires Isidingo’s Zeb Matabane, Karabo and Simphiwe from Generations and Doris Mokoena from Muvhango. Gift plans to make it big in Hollywood by winning an Oscar for best actor, but for now he’s content to learn some skills from great movie stars like Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jackie Chan, Mel Gibson, Chris Tucker and Sean Connery.

Sipho in the series

Sipho is, in some ways, a carbon copy of his father - quiet and responsible. But he can become irrationally angry (aggressive), outwardly rough yet privately sensitive. Although he sometimes resents being responsible for Nozipho, he loves her dearly, even more so because of the trauma she has suffered. In protecting her from “unnecessary” attention on the school grounds, he can easily resort to violence. In spite of his short fuse, Sipho has a magnetic personality with leadership qualities -and is potentially a good sportsman.

His biggest fear is that he and Nozi will be ostracized if her HIV status becomes public knowledge. He is not as close to his mother as he used to be and tries to get her attention by doing everything she asks of him in relation to Nozipho. At some point he realizes that his actions are not paying off and he becomes resentful. His dream is to play soccer for Bafana Bafana.

Vuyelwa Booi (Pabi)

A linguist, Vuyelwa Booi is fluent in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and Tswana. A past student of Midrand University where she studied Theatre Arts, Vuyelwa played Alice in the highly rated Sevende Laan for three and a half years. For some extra income Vuyelwa is keeping the corporate world entertained by singing at their functions.

Vuyelwa shares her character Pabi’s driven, caring and outspoken personality but says she is definitely not as uptight. She is inspired by local actresses Nthati Moshesh and Wilna Snyman and is a fan of Morgan Freeman and Oscar winner, Denzel Washington. Not setting her sights on any Oscars just yet, the 24-year old actress will stay in the realm of theatre and TV and “just see where it takes me.”

Pabi in the series

Paballo (Pabi) is a SeSotho-speaking single mother of a visually impaired daughter, Tumi, to whom she gave birth in her teenage years. Although she is a very responsible mother and determined to let her daughter have the best opportunities in life, she carries some guilt for not having raised Tumi in her early years in order to complete her studies and find a good a job. She managed to obtain a degree and a promotion from the rural bank where she started working to the city. In her work environment she is ambitious and combines this with the careful management of her finances. This is something that suits her well in her job as a client consultant with a bank. She is rational and extremely logical, but has unresolved baggage with Tumi’s father, Andile, who is inconsistent with his maintenance payments. He also initially denied that Tumi was his child, but promised to stick by her, only to do a run after her birth. This baggage leaves her with trust issues as far as men are concerned and has led her to lose touch with her own emotions and how to have fun. However, much of her energy is devoted to mainstreaming Tumi and engaging her school to make the necessary adjustments to the environment to accommodate her daughter.

Mac Manaka (Mak)

Maakomele ‘Mac’ Manaka is a talented young poet who hails from Soweto. Mac recently published an anthology of poems titled ‘If Only’, and has shared the stage with local and international poets over the last six years, including Dr Don Mattera, Keorapetse Kgosietsile, Saul Williams, Ursula Rucker, Lesego Rampolokeng, Roger Bon-Air Agard, Lebo Mashile and Ntsiki Mazwai to mention a few.

Moving around on crutches, Mac’s paralysis is the result of an accident, but the art created by this self-motivated warrior inspires the nation. He recently performed at our president’s inauguration, and at just 21, has represented South African poets in Cuba, Spain and Jamaica. He has performed for the former president, Mr Nelson Mandela and was also nominated for the DaimlerChrysler Poet of the Year 2005 Award.

Mak in the series

The character of Mak is to a large extent based on the actor himself. The history of Mak’s disability does not form part of the story but we meet him playing his drum and reciting poetry in the part. He is noticed by Zandi who is on her way to a meeting with the Buddyz. She is immediately attracted to his poetry and the attraction is extended to the person when she meets him later at the bus stop. They also meet again at a library and he offers to help her with a poetry assignment. They go out on a date much to Siya’s (Zandi’s brother) disapproval. Siya believes that Zandi is not necessarily attracted to Mak but simply feels sorry for him. Zandi is confused by Siya’s views on their relationship and his views about the fact that Mak has a disability. This causes her to be uncertain of her own feelings for Mak as well.

Shaughn Reyneke (Hamilton)

The youngest of four siblings, Shaughn Reyneke began his stage career in grade 1 when he played a ‘thirsty boy’. This led to a variety of roles in Sunday school plays like Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty and Robin Hood. He has spent three and a half years at the Children’s Theatre, which he describes as a ‘wow’ experience.

He has learnt to sing, dance, and mime as well as how to be a professional clown but his biggest break has been Soul Buddyz. He gets to play the spoilt rich kid who is chauffeur-driven to all school functions and has an abundant supply of money. “It’s so lekker,” he says. He aspires to writing scripts for children’s television but for now enjoys funnyman Martin Lawrence and high-kicking Jackie Chan, who are among his Hollywood heroes.

Hamilton in the series

Hamilton is the lovable comic character that he was before. He is from an affluent family and lives in a Houghton type area. He attends a private school. His parents, Desmond a high-flying consultant and Batsi, a lawyer (returned exiles) don't have much time to spend with him, but heap material things on him. They are not intentionally negligent but are very focused on their careers.

A distant cousin of Batsi's, Jackson, is the chauffeur employed to drive Hamilton. Jackson and Hamilton are very close as Hamilton spends a lot more time with him than he does with his parents. As he is the child of exiles, he doesn’t speak a black language but feels the need to learn SePedi and Jackson teaches him. Hamilton loves chess and is not very sporty. The Buddyz often call him Milto. His mother calls him sweet pea and occasionally pumpkin. In series 3 his father is overseas most of the time, but talks to Hamilton and Batsi on the phone.

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