GLAMOUR: Tell us more about your character on Isidingo, Hamilton Radebe?
Anthony: Hamilton is a smooth charmer of a character. He is enigmatic and mysterious; a slick dresser, very into his suits and ties. Professionally, he is a prominent business adviser, who worked his way out of poverty into a lavish lifestyle. Younger woman view him as the ideal “sugar daddy,” but he’s very focused and headstrong. Nevertheless, as much as he is a success, Hamilton is also a professional grifter. He knows Bra G, played by the legendary Darlington Michaels, from back in the day. Bra G, called him in to look over the books, but other things start to happen. He meets Sechaba Moloi and Lerato Tsotetsi and they become friends, which is when the intrigue starts to set in.
GLAMOUR: You’ve also acted on a few British TV shows – what are the differences between the British and South African TV industries?
Anthony: Though, I’m proud to be Nigerian and loved my childhood in the UK, I thoroughly consider South Africa to be my home now. In large part that has to do with the vibrancy of the industry here. Sure it may not be as large as America’s and the UK’s and definitely not have as much money, but I find that this has made South Africa’s industry all the more stronger. In South Africa due to these constraints, we’re forced to be really creative in what we do.
GLAMOUR: Apart from being a TV star, you’ve starred in movies too – which do you prefer?
Anthony: You know, strangely enough they satisfy different elements of what I enjoy most about being a performer. There’s a whole set of different skills needed to succeed in both. I don’t want to get into the technicalities of it all, but when you’re on TV, particularly on something like Isidingo, the pace at which you have to work is relentless, which is pretty exhilarating. Time and budgetary constraints, and the multi-camera setups mean that there’s very little time for mistakes and reshoots. In fact, working on television requires me to rely on lot of the skills I picked up in theatre. That said, when it comes to film the nine-year-old still in me experiences a thrill at being the cool guy walking away from an exploding car, or the hero, or bad guy, in a gun-fight.
GLAMOUR: You often hear actors talking about how hard it is breaking into the industry and finding work. What are some of the challenges actors are faced with in Africa?
Anthony: Well, in very much the same way I think that the size of the industry has been made into a positive, the antithesis of that is that it makes breaking into the industry quite a challenge. Of course, regardless of where in the world you choose to be an entertainer, breaking into the entertainment industry is a challenge almost second to none.
So, in short, in South Africa, the challenge of finding good quality roles that get to feature your talents are exactly the same as anywhere else. However, in South Africa there’s the added challenge that finding smaller roles, that (a) allow you to feed yourself while you,( b) hone your craft, thus (c) increasing the chances of you being noticed by execs to get that one plum role that shoots you into the “big time” is pretty unique to SA.
GLAMOUR: What are some of your favourite TV shows?
Anthony: Well, Isidingo of course. But beyond that I love catching up on the South African classics that I missed out on – as I wasn’t living in South Africa at the time. So at the moment I’ve really gotten into the powerhouse performance Henry Cele gave in Shaka Zulu. I also do enjoy unwinding with a good comedy like Parks & Recreation or really just losing myself in a great ol’ plotty story like, House Of Cards.
GLAMOUR: What more would you like to achieve career wise?
Anthony: I’m hoping to get more stage work. I love working in TV and film, but my first love will always be theatre, and if I can find a good project that I can fit into my schedule then I’d love to get involved. I’m also hoping to get working on new music, but you know how life can just throw a new unexpected opportunity that makes jokes of all your plans. So essentially, for me, I’m just always open.
At the moment, I’m just enjoying today’s success and more importantly paying that success forward and on this front, I’ve recently become a Brand Ambassador for Relate Bracelets after their social enterprise model piqued my interests. Social enterprises are basically run like businesses with the profits from these enterprises going straight back to the people who need it most. By running Relate according to business principles, the increased efficiency and effectiveness allow the organisation to do even more for the people it seeks to help. I want to create positive change in the world around me, and together with Relate, I’m lucky enough to be in a position to do that
Additionally, I was really happy about getting to champion the PinkDrive breast cancer bracelet, as breast cancer is a cause that I’m quite passionate about. Although the majority of breast cancer cases occur in women, many people are surprised to learn that men can develop breast cancer too. But in addition to that, as men we also need to stand with our sisters, wives, and mothers in this cause. While all men are aware of breast cancer, many stay silent on this topic thinking it’s not appropriate for them to let their voices be heard in this discussion. We need to be active participants in the fight against breast cancer. What could be more appropriate than caring for the women we love?