South Africa has a vibrant and diverse music scene, especially in the genre of rap and hip hop. Some of the most popular and successful rappers in the country are Emtee, AKA, Sjava, Big Zulu, and many more. However, some of these rappers have also tried their hand at acting, appearing in local soapies and dramas. Unfortunately, not all of them have had a smooth and positive experience on the small screen. Some of them have left their roles under a dark cloud, facing various controversies and scandals.
Emtee: From Muvhango to Savage Beauty
Emtee is one of South Africa’s most famous rappers, known for his hit songs such as Roll Up, We Up, and Me and You. He has won several awards, such as the South African Music Award for Best Rap Album and the MTV Africa Music Award for Best Hip Hop.
Emtee made his acting debut in 2017, when he appeared on the SABC Venda drama series Muvhango as Melusi. Melusi was a young controversial business graduate who resorted to crime to take care of his family.
However, Emtee’s stint on Muvhango was short-lived, as he was allegedly fired from the show after only six episodes. According to some reports, the management was unconvinced with his acting skills and accused him of overeating and smoking on set.
Emtee has not confirmed or denied these allegations, but he has moved on to other acting projects. He recently starred in Savage Beauty, a Netflix series that features some of the most beautiful and fierce women in South Africa. He plays the role of Thando, a successful lawyer who falls in love with a mysterious man.
AKA: From Nandi to Bhovamania
AKA is another South African rapper who has achieved fame and fortune with his music. He has released several albums, such as Levels, Touch My Blood, and Bhovamania. He has also won numerous awards, such as the South African Music Award for Male Artist of the Year and the MTV Africa Music Award for Best Collaboration.
AKA was supposed to be part of Nandi, a Netflix series that tells the story of a young woman who discovers her supernatural powers and her royal heritage. He was cast as King Shaka Zulu, one of the most influential leaders in African history.
However, AKA was reportedly fired from the show before it even started filming. According to some sources, he was dropped from the show because of his ego and attitude. He allegedly demanded a higher salary than other actors and refused to follow the director’s instructions.
AKA has not commented on these rumours, but he has focused on his own show instead. He launched Bhovamania, a reality show that follows his personal and professional life as a rapper, businessman, father, and lover. The show is available on Showmax and BET Africa.
Sjava: From Uzalo to Isibaya
Sjava is a South African rapper who is also known for his singing and songwriting skills. He has released two albums, Isina Muva and Umqhele. He has also collaborated with international artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé. He won the BET Award for Best International Act: Africa in 2018.
Sjava had his fair share of success on small screens as well. He appeared on two popular drama series: Uzalo and Isibaya. On Uzalo, he played Jombigazi, a hitman who worked for Nkunzi, one of the main villains on the show. On Isibaya, he played Mabuyi’s cousin who came to visit her at eBhubesini.
However, Sjava’s acting career was cut short by a scandal that rocked his personal life. He was accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend and fellow musician Lady Zamar. She claimed that he sexually assaulted her in 2017 after a concert in Thohoyandou. She also alleged that he abused her emotionally during their relationship.
Sjava denied the allegations and said that he had consensual sex with Lady Zamar and that he loved her sincerely. He said that he was innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. However, he faced backlash from the public and the industry. He was dropped from both Uzalo and Isibaya due to the controversy. He was also removed from several events and platforms that he was supposed to perform at or participate in.
Big Zulu: From Uzalo to Durban Gen
Big Zulu is a South African rapper who is also a former taxi driver. He has released three albums, Ushun Wenkabi, Ichwane Lenyoka, and Inkabi Nation. He has also collaborated with other artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Kwesta, and Riky Rick. He won the South African Hip Hop Award for Best Lyricist in 2019.
Big Zulu also ventured into acting, appearing on Uzalo as Sobhuza. Sobhuza was a businessman who was involved in illegal activities and had a romantic relationship with Fikile, one of the main characters on the show.
However, Big Zulu’s role on Uzalo came to an end after he was accused of gender-based violence by his baby mama. She claimed that he assaulted her physically and verbally on several occasions. She also alleged that he cheated on her with multiple women and neglected his child.
Big Zulu denied the accusations and said that he was a victim of a smear campaign by his ex-girlfriend. He said that he never abused her or his child and that he was faithful to her. He said that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
However, Big Zulu’s reputation was tarnished by the scandal. He lost his scheduled shoots with Durban Gen, another drama series that he was supposed to appear on. He also faced criticism and condemnation from the public and the media.