Westcliff’s very own acting sensation, Kubeshan Naidoo, comes alive when he is on stage, showcasing his talent in front of an eager crowd. The talented actor took a moment to chat to The Chatsworth Tabloid about his journey in the theatre and entertainment industry and his stage appearances as Mano in the highly acclaimed production, ‘The Bread, the Porridge, and the Mix Masala’ and his latest role as Rajoo in ‘Broken Promises 4’.
The Chatsworth Tabloid (CT): You are no stranger to the world of Indian-inspired entertainment, how were you first introduced to the industry?
Kubeshan Naidoo (KN):
Truth be told, I always loved the stage and performing because I grew up doing modern dancing, but the first time I actually performed in front of a live audience was at age seven. I was in primary school and we had to enact a short story, mine was entitled ‘Abu Ali and the 10 donkeys’. Seeing the audience laugh and cheer on made me feel alive. Thereafter, I was enrolled in Westend Academy of Speech and Drama, which I loved, and allowed me to go from being an introvert to a colourful and talented extrovert who exudes stamina and confidence.
CT: All hopefuls within the entertainment industry look forward to their ‘big break’. What was your first role (big break) in a movie or theatre production?
KN: My big break came along in 2010 after I watched a production called ‘Khambakht Ishq’ by Melanie Kisten Dance Academy (MKDA), at the Rajput Hall. The show content was fantastic, the actors were brilliant and the dancers were dynamic and energetic. I knew then that I needed to get back onto stage, after having dedicated my focus to school. I approached the producer Melanie Kisten, auditioned and was selected. Khambakt Ishq was then staged yet again at Sibaya where I joined as a dancer. In 2011 the sequel for Khambakth Ishq approached, Melanie encouraged me to audition yet again but this time as an actor. I was very nervous as I had no theatre experience, but she still convinced me by assuring me that I am talented and deserve to shine. I went ahead auditioned and the character of Kuberz was born. Fast forward seven years later and I am still proudly a part of MKDA and acted in several other productions, including our highly acclaimed 2017/18 ‘The Bread , the Porridge, and the Mix Masala’, which was in high demand in Durban.
CT: What was your first movie role and what did you learn from that experience?
KN: My first role in a movie was 2014 in ‘The Curse of Highway Shiela’, which was directed and produced by Kumaran Naidu. I played the abusive driver, which I found exciting, and that is exactly what I enjoy about acting. It really tests your capabilities and your versatility as an actor. A saying that I always keep in mind is – ‘Always believe no role is too big or too small’. It is important to appreciate everything that comes your way and to be grateful. It was the first time that I experienced what set life was like and I enjoyed every minute of that experience and the cast was so welcoming. In 2016 MKDA dancers were chosen for ‘Aya’s 80th birthday scene’ for the
2017 release of ‘Keeping up with the Kandasamys’ by Jayan Moodley. That also afforded me a great experience onset yet again.
CT: Many know Kubeshan Naidoo the actor, but what are you like when you are not in character?
KN: I am a soft-hearted character, I enjoy family time, and I am very ambitious and goal driven. My friends and family are my greatest treasure.
CT: Who is your role model in life or theatre, and why?
KN: Don’t hate me for saying this but I don’t have role models, because then I would base them on high expectations. I always say ‘you should always believe in yourself’. You are the creator and director of your life, so go out there and design your masterpiece.
CT: What sneak-peak of the forthcoming Broken Promises 4 can you share?
KN: One thing I can say is, Durban get ready to laugh. It is a family feel-good movie that will leave you in stitches. The movie is about a young man, Mandoza, who is desperate to get married but is afraid of making the mistakes his father made when he met his mother. Unfortunately, he gets rejected by his girlfriend, who feels that Mandoza needs to ask her father for her hand in marriage. The storyline follows the couple’s entertaining journey, where interference from other family members is to be expected. I can not reveal much about my character, but, he is very colourful and is the twist to the saga, so watch-out for him in cinema’s as Rajoo.
CT: Name one acting role you wish you could play?
KN: A villain or a master manipulator.
CT: What is the best lesson
life taught you so far?
KN: Life taught me to never give up, no matter how rough the sea gets, continue sailing and you will reach victory.
CT: Indian or English food?
KN: Both have their unique qualities.
CT: Cats or dogs?
KN: Dogs, because I have Jack Russell named Raja.
CT: Savoury or Dessert?
KN: Dessert, I have a sweet tooth.
CT: Favourite place to go on holiday?
KN: I would love to visit India (Prasanthi Nilayam), the Swami Ashram in particular.
CT: What is the best advice you can share with others?
KN: Never let the fear of the game stop you from achieving what you want, I always use this as my motivation. There are people who will tell you
that you are not good enough – let them. The truth is that you can achieve anything you want, but the secret is that you have to believe in yourself. Rome was not built in a day, it takes years of hard work and perseverance, so don’t lose hope.