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South Africans Think Aki And Pawpaw Are Kids

Winner of the Best Child Actor in the Africa Movies Academy Awards 2014, Lebohang Ntsane, speaks on his experience acting in South African film, Forgotten Kingdom.

South Africans Think Aki And Pawpaw Are Kids
Ntsane in the movie

When 16-year-old Lebohang Ntsane was nominated for the Africa Movie Academy Award for the Best Child Actor, his friends in South Africa rejoiced with him. But many of them felt his chances of winning were slim.

It was not because they do not believe in his talent and the way he plays his role in Forgotten Kingdom. Rather, they felt he was going to Nigeria where he was going to compete with seasoned actors, Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze, popularly called Aki and Pawpaw. Based on their low heights and childish roles they usually play in movies, the South Africans think they are kids.

And that was the impression that Ntsane, a third year pupil of Methodist High School, Lesotho, also had. Ntsane’s people felt that based on how impressively Aki and Pawpaw usually act, there was no way they would not have been nominated. And once that was the situation, they were sure to win.

So, it was a pleasant surprise for Ntsane when, on getting to AMAA, held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State last Saturday, he discovered he was not competing with them. Yet, in an interview with our correspondent, he was eager to know more about the actors.

“Are they old or young people?” he asked this correspondent.

“They are adults.”

How old are they?” At this point, all the journalist could tell him is that Aki and Pawpaw must be above 30. Of course, he also requested to know their marital status.

Although Ntsane had been acting in school, the opportunity to be auditioned for Forgotten Kingdom was a big challenge to him. According to him, about 700 kids participated in it, out of which he was selected.

He recalls, “When I told my parents about the audition, they encouraged me to go for it. I first had to memorise the script. This was not too difficult to achieve because members of my family helped me during the process. The experience was great, especially during rehearsals. But it was not totally easy. Mastering the expression was tough because the director wanted me to speak like an adult.”

As a boy always following the lead actor in the film in which the hero seeks reconnection with his root, he has to speak like an adult anywhere they go. After going through the hassles, however, Ntsane is very happy that he eventually got the AMAA award, beating Tobe Oboli, son of Nollywood actress, Omoni Oboli, (in the filmBrother’s Keeper and Hlyani Mbasa (Felix).

The young actor, who says he had a beautiful time in Nigeria while attending AMAA, is resolved to become a professional actor, saying he wants to study Theatre Arts.

He advises fellow young ones, “We worked very hard to make the Forgotten Kingdom. If you work very hard, you will get anything you desire.”

Source: Punch

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