If anyone tells you that the beautiful ones are not yet born, ask them to watch Detective Max Makena on the Netflix series ‘Shadows.’ Young, handsome, extremely talented, and a total charmer, Khathu Ramabulana is the complete package. The rise of this South African actor has been meteoric and unconventionally short but seeing a relatively unknown actor sparkle so brilliantly onscreen has been a source of constant wonder and pleasure for lovers of local soap operas.
The 29-Year-Old Actor Grew Up In Soweto
Khathu Ramabulana was born in South Africa on September 10, 1993. He spent his childhood and teenage years growing up in Soweto, a small town located in the suburbs of Johannesburg. There isn’t much revealed about his family except that he has very supportive parents who made sure he was able to achieve his childhood ambition. He took on a lot of art classes when he was younger because he had always known that he wanted to be an actor – Khathu has always been a very meticulous person even as a child – and took his acting classes seriously. When he got into high school, he teamed up with his friends and made comedy skits. He also did standup comedy for a short while.
With a background like this, it isn’t surprising that this Soweto-born actor has enough confidence to take on the entire world. He was trained very hard for it. He had his primary and high school education in Soweto, but his degree was bagged from the University of Cape Town. Khathu had always been a brilliant student, so it came as no surprise to his family when he gained admission into the prestigious university in 2013 to study Drama and Theatre Arts. He graduated in 2016 at the age of 23. This was his first major step towards a career in the South African movie industry.
How Khathu Ramabulana Became One Of Mzansi’s Most Loved Actors
Almost immediately after finishing school, Khathu Ramabulana landed his first TV role in the series Generations: The Legacy. He first appeared on the show on September 23, 2016, as a character called Yonke in a guest-starring role. He went on a hiatus shortly after and returned with a bang in 2019. Khathu is notoriously known for playing mischievous and romantic roles; this was especially noticeable when he played Zweli in the popular South African soap, Scandal!
His character is best remembered as a schemer and conman who seduced a woman and deflowered her while his wife recorded them. That same year, he played the role of Hulisani in SABC1 viewers’ favorite, Muvhango. In Muvhango, he charmed his way into Rendani’s bed and heart; he was so good that she dumped her boyfriend. His effortless suaveness made him a fan favorite instantly. He was so popular that his resignation from the series early in 2020 led to call-outs and protests on social media, with viewers asking Muvhango producers to either produce the old Hulisani or scrap the show entirely.
Speculations about why he left the show so abruptly abounded throughout social media, and it was said that there were accusations of alleged sexual harassment, delayed salaries, and overall toxicity on the set. We respect Khathu Ramabulana for putting his mental health above monetary gain.
The Role Of ‘Detective Max Makena’ In Shadow Was Khathu Ramabulana’s Coming Out Moment
Khathu Ramabulana’s breakout moment came in 2019 when he landed the main supporting role in the refreshing series Shadow. He played the role of Detective Max Makena, where he dazzled us with his brilliant acting. The series was signed to Netflix and was shown in over 119 countries. That was the series that brought him into the limelight and the notice of South African soap lovers. In 2020, he was featured in Queen Sono, where he played ‘William,’ the lead character’s best friend.
In an interview with YNaija, he spoke about how he could switch from playboy to caring confidante; he said he had prepared himself for that role by doing volunteering work with a friend on a play about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). He also did heavy research about therapy by watching movies and reading books.
One thing about the ‘Shadow’ actor is that he takes his career very seriously. This may be the reason why his rise to fame was relatively short. It might also be as a result of his attention to the tiniest detail. This particular actor doesn’t rely on his talent alone; he tries as much as possible to get into whatever character he needs to as perfectly as possible. With a work ethic like his, we can only expect to see more of Khathu Ramabulana, locally and internationally; we can only expect that his award shelf wouldn’t be empty for much longer.
What We Know About Khathu Ramabulana’s Love Life and Personal Ideology
The nature of Khathu Ramabulana’s relationship with his parents is obscure. Still, we can deduce from his interviews that the 29-year-old ‘Queen Sono’ actor values his family and close relationships dearly. He had mentioned in several interviews the immense support he received from them when he was ready to strike out into acting. Because Ramabulana likes to keep his personal life private, we don’t know if he has siblings yet.
On his birthday last year, popular ‘Uzalo’ series actor Nay Maps sent a shout-out to him on Instagram. Fans believed that the two movie stars had formed a solid friendship outside work. When it comes to romantic relationships, Khathu Ramabulana becomes even more secretive; there has been no mention of the handsome actor being linked to anyone within (or without) the industry.
He is a believer in the expression of African authenticity in art. He has stressed severally how important it was to him to be able to promote his culture and language, stating that he wanted to take his art to the Academy, then the world. Khathu Ramabulana has also spoken out passionately against the bad leadership that is endemic to most African countries. It’s this fire that spills over into every onscreen character he plays, and we hope he gets to stick around for a long, long time.