Bonga’s acting skills see him heading for the Big Apple

“We speak English at home, except when I’m in trouble. Then my dad speaks only Zulu,” laughs Bonga Zwane, a final-year Marketing student.


Bonga Zwane’s modelling and acting career is hitting the big time, with him heading for the Big Apple and maybe the big screen too.


Keeping in shape is very important for an aspiring actor. Bonga spends at least two hours in the gym every day.


His charm, acting skills and multilingual talents have earned him a scholarship at the prestigious New York Film Academy.


Rugby ball in hand, Bonga arrived at the NWU’s campus in Vanderbijlpark in 2015 after completing a diploma in marketing management at the Boland College in Stellenbosch and playing for the u/21 Maties team for two years.


A life-changing decision


“The day I put on that purple jersey, my life changed,” he says. Life continued looking up in Vanderbijlpark, where he played for the u/21 rugby team until the end of the 2018 season.


The change of scenery also saw Bonga’s modelling and acting career taking off. He joined a local agency, Models Unlimited, completing diplomas in modelling, acting monologue and acting and advertising, and becoming a Mr Vaal finalist in 2017.


Part of popular TV series


“I found myself on the set of Getroud met Rugby,” he says excitedly. “It was unreal!” He continued his stint on the popular television show during 2016 and 2017 until he was recruited by the Sandton-based Just You Agency in 2018.


Competing under the agency’s flag, Bonga entered the International Arts Talent Showcase and realised his dream to perform internationally. Early in 2019 he received a scholarship to study at the New York Film Academy as from 2020.


The best of the Big Apple


The academy is world renowned for training the best of the best in the entertainment industry.


It offers degree and postgraduate study opportunities, as well as conservatory programmes and short-term courses. Students can choose from filmmaking, acting for film, musical theatre, producing, screenwriting, cinematography, documentary, photography and more.


Bonga is still not sure which of the many courses he will pursue, but he will consider his options carefully before leaving for New York in January 2020.


In the meantime, there is still a bit of studying left to do.

Bonga will spend the rest of his year fine tuning his skills and keeping in shape. “Then it is off to old New York,” he says with a bright smile and bursts into song. Appropriately, it’s the first line of the old Sinatra classic, “Start spreading the news…”.