Siya Xaba on filming during Covid-19: We get anxious, but we just need to be cautious

24 June 2020 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Siya Xaba plays the role of Langa on 'Gomora'.
Siya Xaba plays the role of Langa on 'Gomora'.
Image: Gomora/ Mzansi Magic

While several TV productions have had to halt production amid Covid-19 fears, actor Siya Xaba said life on set for Gomora is filled with a small amount of anxiety and a lot of caution.

Production ground to a halt on the set for the popular SABC2 soapie Muvhango last week after one employee revealed they may have been exposed to the coronavirus off set. SABC1's Skeem Saam and Magic 1's The River had earlier stopped production due to the risk of exposing cast and crew members to the virus.

This week Soweto TV confirmed to Sowetan that one of its employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. The channel said the employee and those who worked closely with the employee were self-isolating.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE about his experience on set, Siya said he was worried when he heard about other shows being halted, but was confident the production was safe to work on.

“Of course we get anxious. Besides the general concern for the health of other cast members and crew, we worry about ourselves. Everyone is excited to be at work, rather than stuck at home, but we just need to be cautious because we love being on set and want to carry on shooting.”

He said he was doing his best to keep spirits high, but admitted that Covid-19 has been a challenge for actors, especially when shooting emotional or intimate scenes.

“Some of the instinctual things we do during emotional scenes, like giving a person a kiss or a hug, can be difficult. I think it is about working around the limitations and being as creative as possible to show those emotions without physical contact.”

Siya has won over Mzansi with his performance as a Langa on the drama series, a young man whose family goes from living in the burbs in Sandton to the bustling streets of Alex.

He said he is nothing like his Gomora character and, despite what his character may sometimes think, money doesn’t fix all the world’s problems.

He said fans often confuse him  which his character, recounting how he was once swarmed by people while at a mall.

“The whole store stopped and everyone who worked there rushed to get my autograph. It was crazy, but I don’t mind it. I appreciate the love and support.

“At times I can be a lot more nerdy than Langa, especially when it comes to films. I am also really into sport. I played soccer, rugby, cricket for a long time, so people might get that part mixed up.