He goes by the name of Anthony Oluwakayode Oseyemi and he has many titles to his name. Currently Anthony plays the role of “Cheese-Boy” Hamilton on #Isidingo. I managed to catch up with him and we spoke about him being an Actor, Presenter, Musician and soo much More”.
Anthony Oseyemi is of Nigerian descent, raised in the UK, now considers South Africa to be his home, and hates talking of himself in the third person.
Ever since I can remember entertaining people has been what I have always enjoyed most. Whether it’s on stage, on screen, in a theatre, or performing music – being able to bring entertainment into people’s lives has always been my passion.
In addition to my current role on Isidingo, I’ve also starred in Jacobs Cross and Traffick, in South Africa, and the UK’s Holby City, and HBO’s Strike Back in America.
Another love of mine is music. In that part of my life, I’ve completed an album, “Load Shedding” which was a project I really enjoyed as it allowed me draw on stories from my own life experiences. I also do enjoy being in the background sometimes and have written music for bands in SA and the UK that have had wide commercial success. So even though it may be what I’m best known for, I don’t see myself solely as an actor.
My childhood was pretty hectic. Things don’t always go as planned with family so like so many others I was the head of the family before I had a family of my own. But you know what they say: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
But this isn’t to say my childhood was devoid of joy.
One of my fondest memories from that time was the summer holiday breaks we’d take to Felixstowe. A quinte essentially Edwardian seaside port town, whenever holidays rolled round we always knew that we’d be headed there. This excitement was despite the fact that unlike the beaches I’ve gotten used to in South Africa. Felixstowe was notorious for its stony beach which you had to hobble over to get to the ocean if you lost your sandals, which were a must on that beach.
Relentless, Strong, Annoying, Unreasonable and utterly Loyal.
You know, I don’t think I can ever say there was any project, or style of film that was more challenging than the next. The way I always go about selecting the projects I get involved in – be it film, short films, or theatre – is to find something that challenges me in a new and exciting way. In the projects I select, I want to find satisfy the different elements of what I enjoy most about being a performer. In different kinds of projects, there’s different skills needed to succeed.
For instance, and I don’t want to get into the technicalities of it all, when you’re on TV, particularly on something like Isidingo, the pace at which you have to work is relentless, which is pretty exhilarating. Time and budgetary constraints, and the multi-camera setups mean that there’s very little time for mistakes and reshoots. In fact, working on television requires me to rely on lot of the skills I picked up in theatre.
That said, when it comes to film the nine-year-old still in me experiences a thrill at being the cool guy walking away from an exploding car, or the hero, or bad guy, in a gun-fight.
When I was selected as the host for Survivor Africa I was honoured because as the host I got to represent Africa. I am proud of my African heritage, it is an undeniable part of my being, it inspires me, it drives me and it definitely makes me who I am.
It was a lot of fun being part of that project, mainly because as the host, I got to go back to a hotel-room at the end of the day.
I’m not sure if there are any plans – at this stage – to do another season, but I’d definitely be interested in working with that team again.
As an actor we are always looking for roles that will challenge us, and make us grow in our craft. Not only is Hamilton’s storyline and script great in that regard, but the fact that he’s South African meant I’d be doing something I’ve never done before, and I am loving the whole experience. That –something that’s new, exciting, and a role you can sink your teeth into – makes getting into a new character a challenge I relish and enjoy.
Hamilton is a smooth charmer of a character. He is enigmatic and mysterious; a slick dresser, very into his suits and ties. Professionally, he is a prominent business adviser, who worked his way out of poverty into a lavish lifestyle. Younger woman view him as the ideal “sugar daddy,” but he’s very focused and headstrong. Nevertheless, as much as he is a success, Hamilton is also a professional grifter. He knows Bra G, played by the legendary Darlington Michaels, from back in the day. Bra G, called him in to look over the books, but other things start to happen. He meets Sechaba Moloi and Lerato Tsotetsi and they become friends, which is when the intrigue starts to set in.
A project I’m currently incredibly proud to be involved in at the moment, is being a brand ambassador for Relate Bracelets. Relate Bracelets, isn’t your usual not-for-profit organization, but is rather a social enterprise. Social enterprises are basically run like businesses with the profits from these enterprises going straight back to the people who need it most. I want to create positive change in the world around me, and together with Relate, I’m lucky enough to be in a position to do that.
Additionally, I was really happy about getting to champion the PinkDrive breast cancer bracelet, as breast cancer is something I’m quite passionate about.
As men we also need to stand with our sisters, wives, and mothers in this cause. While all men are aware of breast cancer, many stay silent on this topic thinking it’s not appropriate for them to let their voices be heard in this discussion. We need to be active participants in the fight against breast cancer. What could be more appropriate than caring for the women we love?
For me, inspiration means that thing which pushes you to be the best you, you can be. What that thing, inspiration, is, can come in any shape or form. Inspiration can simply come from hearing from a fan on social media that they’re loving what you’re doing, or maybe being on set and seeing another performer pushing themselves to new limits.
Essentially, anything can inspire me on a given day.
I don’t think there’s any particular advice that applies to succeeding in entertainment, which is why I always look to what Apple’s Steve Jobs said in a speech in 2005: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
I think these words always remind us that adventure and new opportunities for success are always where we least expect them to be.
Who would’ve ever thought that a Nigerian Brit would find his home, success, joy, and passion in South Africa?
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