The Queen’s Sipho Manzini: I'm nothing like Mjekejeke

29 December 2018 - 16:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Sipho Manzini plays the role of Mjekejeke on 'The Queen'.
Sipho Manzini plays the role of Mjekejeke on 'The Queen'.
Image: Via The Queen

Veteran actor Sipho Manzini may have captured the hearts of Mzansi TV fans with his role as Mjekejeke on The Queen,  but he says he and his character are nothing alike.

Mjekejeke is a simple man that is often bullied by his wife Petronella, but Sipho says that he is not a push over in real life and has often stood up to authority if he felt it was needed.

"I guess people see me on screens and think that I am like Mjekejeke but I can be very assertive if needs be. I am married and love my wife but she does not treat me like Petronella treats her husband. I wouldn't stick around for that."

Still, he says it is fun to get into character and play someone completely different.

"That is the joy of acting, for a hours a day you are someone else. But the good thing is you can step away from it at the end of the day and be yourself. I love Mjekejeke and I think a lot of people can relate to him. It is a great character to play."

Sipho said he prepared for the role by watching the likes of Joe Mafela in Sgud'Snaysi.

"He was an incredible actor with so much talent. He made it looks so effortless. I watch him and others like him and tried to put myself in the same space."

He said the biggest lesson he had learnt from playing Mjekejeke was patience.

"I think some of the things he goes through are crazy. He literally has to have the patience of a saint to not lose his cool. I am a calm man but I had to step into a whole new space to play his." he added with a laugh.

And despite their troubles on screen, Sipho said he was in awe of actress Thembsie Matu, who plays Petronella on the show.

"She is an incredible actress with so much depth, and so humble. You know, she is just as fun on set as her character is on the show. I have learnt so much from her."