Fanie Maserumle; a cool, calm and collected individual that needs no introduction to the Skeem Saam viewers. Whenever he’s at Turfloop, trouble seems to follow him; and poor Nimza always gets the raw end of Fanie’s antics.It all started when Nimza got involved in a card scamming scandal, masterminded by Fanie, whose only interest was to make money, no matter the cost. Many people got burnt (The Kunutus, MaNtuli’s family), but thanks to his dodgy ways, he managed to escape, leaving Nimza to worm his way out of trouble.

Who will forget Fanie’s role in Jama taking twenty-one shooters on a night that went from a celebration to pure devastation! As if that wasn’t enough, Fanie later showed up at Turfloop, lying his way to be secretly accommodated by Nimza, a horrible idea that ended up in a hostage situation where he got shot. That was the final straw for him. He decided there and then that he was changing his life. But as the saying goes, does the leopard really change its spots…?

We caught up with the man behind this charming character, Gift Mokhampanyane.

How are you enjoying playing the character of the smoothest criminal operator around?

It’s a very beautiful but bittersweet experience because I’m finally getting to play a character I always thought would be a difficult one to portray. However, being blessed to have grown up around such characters, I managed to adopt certain characteristics to deliver on screen. As for bittersweet, I’ve been painted as a “Bad Boy” to the public, but the positive side is that instead of getting slaps, I receive compliments for stories we tell and being inspirational. I don’t always agree with some of the things Fanie does, it’s been a fun experience portraying him in a way that is a menace in people’s lives.

How similar and/or different is Gift from Fanie?

(Laughs) For every similarity, there are two differences. We’re both as ambitious, but Gift would never go to such extreme measures like putting loved ones in danger.

What really made Fanie enrol at the Gauteng University?

The opportunity to not only turn on a new lease in life, but also to finish off the studies that he put on hold in exchange for the criminal life. But then again, is it always that simple with Fanie?

Talk to us a bit more about Gift and where the love for entertainment started?

Gift is a child of the African soil, born and bred in Jozi and fondly loves and understands music, acting and sports. The initial love for the entertainment industry began at the young age of 5 after my older brother discovered my God-given talent by observing my personality. However, after my first advert at the age of 6, the true love grew once I was accepted as a student at the National School of the Arts. This was a time in my life when I was introduced to all facets of art and to experiment a lot in theatre plays and musical theatre.

What projects can we expect from Gift this year?

I’m looking to get into the radio industry and any involvement in sports. This is deemed as my crown year where both my brand and character (Fanie) growth are inevitable as bodies of inspiration to remind the youth, particularly black, that anything is possible.

What would you like to see happening to Fanie in 2017?

I would like to see positive growth for the character that speaks for individuals that need a second chance in their respective lives. As for fireworks, it’s a given that whenever Fanie lands, the dust has to unsettle.

Do you have a favourite saying?

Yes. My mom always says “Just because I’m happy, doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. I just choose to look beyond my imperfections”.

Twitter: @Gifted_M

IG: thee_gifted_1

Facebook: Gift Ghettoluv Mokhampanyane

By: Buhle Maseko