Actor Warren Masemola has explained why playing a “nyaope-boy” character is so close to his heart, revealing that the damage he has seen in his township and the personal experiences he’s had are a “story worth telling”.
During an interview with Fresh Breakfast team, the actor revisited a conversation he started last year when he mentioned that he can’t wait to play a “nyaope-boy”.
He explained that just last weekend, he went home to Pretoria and it occurred to him how the story needs to be told.
“If I am presented with the opportunity to play that character, I would murder it because it hurts. I know this, because just this weekend I was home. I have friends that I went to school with that sell nyaope. I have tried talking them out of selling nyaope, just so we erase it out of our society and take it out of the system completely. It’s because I know the story so well, and I have seen the damage it leaves on the smoker, the family of the smoker and the lives of people around them. It’s too close to home,” he said.
Warren has become popular for slaying every character and has received accolades for his acting including a SAFTA in Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama Series earlier this year.
Nyaope, also known as ‘whoonga,’ is a street drug that has come into widespread use in South Africa.
He said that he knows that the story has to be told and if no one gave him an opportunity to do it, he might write, produce and tell it himself.
“Maybe no one will present me with the opportunity, so maybe I will just produce it and play it myself,” he said.