Bongile Mantsai is a South African actor and dancer who is best known for his starring role as Poncho in the Mzansi Magic drama series Nkululeko.
Bongile Mantsai plays one of the most popular villainous characters onset in the South African movie industry. This has made a lot of people insinuate that he may have such traits in real life due to his ability to play his roles so well. In reality, however, Mantsai is the opposite, he is a man with so much positive energy, and he has also been described as a man with a big heart, it’s just that he takes his job to heart which has made a lot of people feel he may be a bad man. Perhaps his dedication is the reason he is one of the famous faces in the South African movie industry.
Summary of Bongile Mantsai’s Biography
- Full name: Bongile Mantsai
- Nickname: the Scandal actor
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: 3rd February 1982
- Place of birth: Kayanandi in Stellenbosch, Western Cape South Africa
- Bongile Mantsai’s Age: 41 years old
- Ethnicity: African
- Nationality: South African
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Education: Kayamandi High School
- Occupation: Actor, singer
- Famous for: His starring role as Poncho in the Mzansi Magic drama series Nkululeko
- Bongile Mantsai’s Instagram: bongilemantsai
Facts That Reveal Who Bongile Mantsai Really Is
1. Bongile Mantsai’s Father Was a Bishop
Bongile Mantsai’s father was actually a bishop at St. Paul Apostolic Church. The actor and his siblings grew up in a strict Christian home. His father was known to be a faithful shepherd of the church and he ensured his children and the entire household was always in line with the faith.
But as they say, you can never keep a child locked up forever. Bongile Mantsai grew to define his path, and from what we have seen, he is no way close to becoming a clergy. But, he has already attained great heights in the entertainment industry.
2. Bongile Couldn’t Apply For College Because He Couldn’t Speak Afrikaans
Bongile Mantsai attended Kayamandi High School, after which he tried gaining admission into Stellenbosch University (SU) located in Stellenbosch Western Cape South Africa, but couldn’t secure the admission because, at that time, SU taught predominantly in Afrikaans and he couldn’t communicate effectively in the language. This setback which many would have termed a major block didn’t stop the determined Bongile from becoming an actor.
He mustered courage and approached some directors, who in a twist of fate admired his courage and gave him a shot to join a physical theater class that taught language and body movement. Due to his skills and talent, he was able to perform in university productions.
3. He Has Starred in Some Notable Movies
With over 15 years of experience, Bongile Mantsai has worked with many big names in the industry, he has featured with Lara Foot and Brett Bailey. Some of his notable movies are;
- The Wound (2017)
- Knuckle City (2019)
- Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018)
4. Bongile Also Writes Music
Another incredible fact about the actor is his diversity, Bongile Mantsai is an incredible instrumentalist, he plays several musical instruments and also writes music for theatres. We can easily predict that he developed these spare skills due to his exposure to the church as a child of a bishop, he must have had unlimited access to the church musical instrument, creating an avenue for him to learn.
5. He is Also a Theatre Director
Bongile Mantsai isn’t just an actor, he is also a director at Zabalaza. Zabalaza is a Baxter theatre center development program that aims to teach and improve theatre practitioners in the Western Cape. We can say this is also a way of giving back to the theatre that once allowed him to develop his skillset.
6. Speculations Surround Bongile Mantsai’s Love Life
Bongile Mantsai’s relationship status isn’t really clear, there were speculations that he and his co-actor Masasa Mbongeni were an item, this was because of the closeness they portrayed on the set of Scandal. The speculations were however rubbished, when Masasa posted a picture of her with another man during the lockdown and the man wasn’t Bongile, hence, fans concluded again that perhaps the man in the photo is the real partner of Masasa.
It was again speculated that Sivenathi Mabuya is the real wife of Bongile Mantsai, she played the role of Xolile Langa in Scandal. Yet the talented and successful actor hasn’t revealed to the public who his real partner is, but we can only wait until when he decides to make this information public.
7. He is Called the Scandal Actor Because of His Past Film Roles
Most people know Bongile Mantsai a Scandal actor because of the time he starred as Poncho in the Mzansi Magic drama series Nkululeko and Mthunzi Mayiza on the etv Scandal. A lot of people do not know his name, but whenever you mention the scandal actor, people know it is him.
8. Inxeba is His Most Controversial Project
Bongile’s biggest controversial role is in Inxeba. The movie portrayed a gay romance that happened in a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, generating outrage and massive protests from the public. Some cinemas had to take down the movie due to the threat their staff received.
Bongile was not left behind, he received heavy backlash from the public due to his role in the movie. Most people believed the movie threatens to reveal the long upheld secrets of the Xhosa initiation ritual which is supposed to be shielded as a mystery to upcoming teenagers.
9. Bongile Has Put His Inxeba Criticisms Behind Him
Bongile Mantsai said one of his downtime in the industry was the negative criticism he received for his part in Inxeba. Although he won at the SAFTA for it, he said he still felt miserable. But in his recent interview, he admitted to having grown past that stage and doesn’t allow it to weigh him down. He said the thing that matters the most is that his work is being celebrated.
10. The Actor Has Won Notable Awards
The Scandal actor won grand awards at the 2020 South African Film and Television Wards (SAFTAS). He was awarded two key gongs as a result of his outstanding performance in the entertainment industry.
Bongile also won two golden horn trophies, giving him three grand awards before his controversial film Inxeba. He also beat the top industry giants Jamie Barlett and Nathaniel Ramabulana to become the best actor of the year through his role in the TV Soap Mthunzi Mayisa. He was also awarded best actor in Feature Film for his role in the Boxing movie Knuckle City.
When interviewed, he described his awards as an honor to be celebrated. He said Barlett is one of the biggest shots in the industry and being nominated against him was a dream