FROM the streets of New Brighton to the set of one of the country's most loved soapies and now – BMW supertech ambassador. That is the story of Generations actor Anga Makubalo, 23, who left Port Elizabeth at the age of five when his mother, Nomvula, relocated to Johannesburg for work.
But, much like his character MJ in the SABC 1 soapie, Makubalo still has strong ties to his roots.
"PE will always be my home and I do come and visit every now and then. I enjoy going around with my cousins," he said.
"Also my grandparents are still there and it is always lovely to see them. When I am at home I get to connect with my roots that is why all my lyrics are written in Xhosa."
And while most fans know him only as Generations' rugby-playing model and son of businesswoman Mawande Memela, there is a side to Makubalo some do not know about – that of musician.
Having featured on DJ Sbu's single Qina on his Sound Revival Vol 2 album last year Makubalo, whose stage name is NaakMusiq, is preparing to release his debut album later this year.
"I want to spread my wings and share my talents with other South Africans," he said.
"Music is my strong point and I also love acting so it would be difficult to choose between the two as they really complement each other."
His stage name, he explained, was an acronym of those closest to him.
"Naak is made up of four people. N is for my mother Nomvula, A for my sister Asanda, A for me, and K for my brother Khanyiso."
Now, on top of being an actor and musician, Makubalo has been made a BMW supertech ambassador, a role which will see him work with the German carmaker to educate drivers about being more responsible on the road.
"It does not mean that when people are driving fast cars they should be careless We want people to be responsible drivers. So far 2013 has been good for me and I thank God for this opportunity," he said.
Makubalo's character, MJ, recently returned from initiation in the Eastern Cape only to discover that his father Caleb, an investigative journalist, was killed in Syria. He then blackmails Mawande into paying respects to his father by sitting on a mattress as is customary, by threatening to spill the beans about her affair with business associate Sibusiso Dlomo.
"I am enjoying my time in Generations and I am learning a lot. To think that I had initially auditioned for the role of Nicholas, played by Thato Molamo, and I did not get it. I can see why though. He plays his part really well. However I love my character," he said.
And what about his fans?
"I prefer to call them special moments when female fans jump on my back and cling on for dear life. Some are crying out of control just so I can touch their hands, or they are doing what ever it takes to get a picture.
"To me those are moments that make me appreciate what I do," he said.