Benni Langa Is a familiar face on tv and this I just the beginning.
The Bokem Legacy caught up with him and his fast pace life. Check out what went don’t below…
1. What was your childhood like?
I had a great childhood. I was born in Durban and lived in Umlazi for the first 6 or 7 years of my life. Then my family and I moved to Johannesburg & I’ve been here ever since. I grew up with my two older brothers & older sister & younger brother. My parents were strict but fair. I grew up in a loving home.
2. Talk to me about your family…
I have many siblings. Both my parents have children from previous relationships but I grew up knowing that they are all my brothers & sisters. My family is all over the place but mostly in Kwa-Zulu Natal & Johannesburg. My family is large.
3. When and how did your passion grow for drama?
As a kid in primary school I’d always enter the school theatre plays & I always had a knack for impressions. But it was when I got into high school when I realised that I had a passion for entertaining people. It was mostly comedic sketches that I’d perform in class & just acting out stories on our lunch breaks. I noticed that the crowds would get larger and larger. Also I made friends with the cool kids because of how I’d capture their attention with these stories I’d tell. Meeting my best friend & inspiration in high school, Muzi Clive also changed me fundamentally. We decided that we were going to pursue the arts after high school. He was much braver than I and he pushed me a lot. His passing a few years ago was I huge wake up call to do this for him.
4. How would you define success?
I believe success is doing exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. If you are living your life as you’ve chosen to (nobody else) then you are successful. I’m sure there are different levels of success but that is what success means to me at it’s core. If you are doing what you love 100% of the time then you are successful.
5. What are some of the challenges of being in the entertainment Industry?
It is a competitive industry so you have to constantly be honing your craft otherwise you won’t get much work regardless of the auditions you go to. Another challenge is that you have to deal with straight forward criticism in a very constructive way, even if the criticism itself isn’t intended to be constructive. Ironically your job is to make what you do look easy, so much so that a lot of people will think they can just get in the business & do what you do too, even better than you. So you have to deal with that energy too.
6. Take me through the journey of being a presenter on Xtreme Outdoors Africa?
When I first auditioned for XOA I had just come off the TopBilling Presenter Search competition on SABC3. I placed very well in that compettion and I got a call from a friend saying that there was an audition for a tv show & that they didn’t really know what it was but it had to do with sports. So I went there with no idea what it was. There was no audition script so I made up a link. A while later I was chosen to be the host alongside Kenya’s Michelle Morgan. I’ve presented tv shows and acted as well so I didn’t make a big deal out of it. But this show has really been amazing & I’ve travelled Africa quite a bit because of it.
7. How would you define yourself as a person?
I’m a fun guy, I crack jokes a lot. I enjoy good company & great music. I truly love what I do & I’m always trying to learn from the people I meet in this business. I’m an optimist & I’m a spiritual person.
8. How do you prepare for a character in a soapie?
Depending on how intense the role is I like to imagine/meditate about that character. I first imagine the character as someone totally removed from me & how I’d engage with that character if I met them. I imagine myself having a conversation with the character & I make up a history or back story for that character. I then internalise the role and pretend for as long as I can that I am the character & that this is my story. I also practice my lines in different voices a lot.
9. You worked along side Trevor Noah in one of Leon Schuster’s movies. Talk to me about your character and the experience.
Well it was for a movie called “Mad Buddies” by Leon Schuster & Gray Hofmeyr (The creator of Isidingo). I had a very small role in the movie & I honestly didn’t even believe my scenes would make it on camera. Trevor Noah was roped in to do a cameo since Cell C was a sponsor and he was the brand ambassador of Cell C at the time. We ended up doing a short scene together. He was cool. He kept to himself a bit because he had a lot of attention on him. Almost all the extra’s on set wanted a picture with him so I totally understand. There was a lot of extra’s.
10. Your words of motivation to aspiring actors and presenters out there.
Do this because you love it. Not because you want people to love you. I guarantee that you’ll go very far if you respect this craft & apply yourself in doing the best job you can do. Do your best absolutely all the time. The fame is just a by-product, it’s the quality of you work that really says what you are about.
11. Where to from here for Benni Langa?
I will be starring in a few short films with the Film 100 Africa project, so look out for that. I’ll also be filming the second season of Xtreme Outdoors Africa soon. So I’ll be traveling more. I’m also getting behind the camera to produce one or two pilots of my own here in South Africa. Lots more coming from me.
Action Fun Facts With The Guy Himself
1. One accessory you can’t leave the house without?
My watch. My wrist feels so awkward without it. Always gotta have my watch on.
2. Your celebrity crush is?
A French actress by the name of Berenice Marlohe. She was in the James Bond movie Skyfall and another film called 5 to 7. She’s gorgeous.
3. How would you describe love using one word?
4. One thing no one knows about you?
I’ve always wanted to be the guy in those morning infomercials. Like Desmond Dube, or that Outsurance guy. I think there’s something really cool about being the face that people constantly wake up to. haha.
5. Your favourite colour?
It changes all the time. Today it’s navy blue