Gopal scoops SA TV award

HARARE - Former Yellow Card actor Leroy Gopal won a South African Film and Television Award (Safta) on Saturday night at the Gallagher Convention Centre.

Gopal, who had been nominated for the same award twice before, bagged the Best Actor in a TV Comedy Award for his role in Ses’Top La where he plays the role of Oleshe.

A visibly happy Gopal did not forget his roots in his acceptance speech.

“First of all I want to thank my heavenly father, thank you Jesus," he said.

“I want to say thank you to my family back in Zimbabwe who have been supporting me ndichisimudzira mureza weZimbabwe (As I put Zimbabwe on the map),” he said.

Gopal last month made history by making a maiden guest appearance in South Africa’s most popular soapie Generations where he acted as Jackson, a chauffeur who was in love with Queen (Sophie Ndaba).

Gopal had his first real stint with the South African film industry through his role in Backstage, since opportunities have continued to come his way in the lucrative South African film industry.

He has also appeared in other South African productions including Hola Mpinji, Home Affairs, Jozi-H, One Way and Ses’Top La.

Before he moved to South Africa, Gopal became a favourite of many Zimbabweans for his role as Tiyane Tsumba in Yellow Card, a film about problems faced by teenagers as they grapple with their sexuality.

In the film he impregnates one of the two girls he is in love with.

Gopal is one of the few Zimbabwean actors who have landed major film roles in South Africa and in other well-developed film industries.

One of those actors who have made it big is Tongai Arnold Chirisa who earned fame while playing the role of Detective Trevor Davies in Zimbabwe’s first soapie Studio 263.

After relocating to South Africa, the actor co-stared with Leon Schuster in Mr Bones 2: Back From The Past, where he played the role of Hekule, King of Kuvukiland.

Chirisa also landed a major role as Man Friday in the series, Crusoe. Since then he has been appearing in some major television series.

He made a guest appearance in an NCIS: Los Angeles episode on M-Net in July 2012 where he played the role of an interrogator.

Recently Chirisa appeared in the series, American Horror Story: Asylum as Miles.

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