William Returns to Rhythm City
We chat to actor Nat Ramabulana about the purpose of RC’s xenophobic storyline.
29-year-old actor, Nat Ramabulana, returns to Rhythm City as William, foregrounding a dark part of South African society. The storyline hopes to shed light on the struggles of being on the receiving end of xenophobia.
Nat speaks to us about his role, what he hopes the storyline will achieve, and his own experiences with discrimination.
Your character William returns to Rhythm City, tell us more about this.
William, who was a victim of xenophobic attacks, fled the country last year after threats of being deported back to Congo for not having a passport. He ended up in another African country where he was captured and tortured by rebels for months. He managed to escape and return to South Africa to find his wife, Tshidi.
William battled with xenophobia before his departure. |
Yes, William’s main challenge was not being able to apply for asylum, even though he is a qualified doctor, he was refused sanctuary. Corrupt officials demanded excessive bribes and he didn’t have the money.
His problems multiplied when he started dating Tshidi Khuse - men in the township felt that William was out to steal their woman. Despite trying hard to do things the right way, William’s troubles just kept piling up and he faced deportation as his marriage to Tshidi was questioned.
What is the point of William’s storyline?
William’s storyline is educational and crucial in educating our citizens about xenophobia. Foreigners are people just like everyone else, just trying to better their lives. The reason foreigners seek refuge in South Africa is because their countries are not doing well.
What are your views on xenophobia?
I think fear of the unknown and ignorance drives xenophobia and I believe that education is crucial. We need education to help us have a better understanding about foreigners and their past. From this we will be able to see that we are not so different and we all aspire to try and better our lives and our family’s lives.
While playing William, did you learn anything about the struggles of foreigners?
Not really, because personally I have spent most of my life being subjected to discrimination as I am a Venda. I was an outsider amongst Nguni speaking people, and growing up I had people laugh at me when I spoke Venda. They would imitate my language making it sound like some silly language.
William returns to Rhythm City on 25 April. Tune in every weekdays at 6.30PM.