Alumni of the week # 102 Thomas Gumede – Actor & Director

Alumni of the week, 30 April 2018

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AFDA alumnus, actor, presenter, director and co-director of Parental Advisory Production company, Thomas Gumede, is no stranger to the Film & Television industry. He is currently directing Mzansi Magic's new Sunday night prime time drama Abomama, which has received rave reviews from critics and has become a hit with fans on social media. The drama is about four church women who are sucked into the criminal underworld when they are forced to turn their stokvel into a money-laundering scheme.

Thomas’ debut as a film director was on romantic-thriller Inhliziyo Yethu, starring Kenneth Nkosi, Siyabonga Radebe and Zikhona Sodlaka.

"I've always tried to tell a story that entertains and gets people talking. The big challenge with Inhliziyo Yethu was that we had four days to shoot 54 scenes, so we really had to push hard. I wanted to prove that I can direct fiction and handle big actors on a tight deadline. Everything came together," says Thomas.

Thomas is known for his role as Siphiwe in the SABC1 drama series A Place Called Home, from 2006-2009.He is also known for being the co-host of the SABC1 youth talk show The Cypher, which premiered 2007.

He had a starring role in the SABC1 drama series Bay of Plenty, from 2007-2008. Other television series he has acted in include Gothia Caper,, Backstage, Home Affairs and Soul City, among others.

He has performed at numerous live comedy gigs, including the successful 99% Zulu Comedy Show in Durban.

Thomas was the host of the SABC1 reality competition talent show So You Think You're Funny!, from November 2008 to January 2009. The show stars comedian David Kau who is on a mission to find South Africa's top unsigned comedic talent.

In 2012 he produced and starred in the Vuzu reality series Forever Young, which follows him and fellow actors Siya Ngwekazi and Lungile Radu as they "follow their hearts and live in the moment in pursuit of their dreams".

In the same year he was one of the starring cast members of the SABC3 satirical sketch comedy series Sketch U Later. Also in 2012, he took over from Siyabonga Radebe as the host of the Vuzu docu-reality series Top Shayela.

In 2013 he had a starring role as Zanele, a guy with a girl's name who is over-emotional, wildly romantic and highly neurotic, in the SABC1 sitcom Single Guys.

In 2015 he hosted the Mzansi Magic reality series Love Back, based on the premise that someone who has lost the love of their life can get a shot at winning their heart back.

In 2016 he was one of the three co-hosts of the MTV video clip show Ridiculousness Africa and acted in the South African box office feature film Tell Me Sweet Something.

Most recently he acted in the multi-award winning film Ayanda and the musical, Lucky Specials.


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