Generations actor Nkululeko Tshirumbula is the runner up in the Mambaonline Sexiest Man of the Year Survey 2015, brought to you by WeTheBrave.co.za (the winner was singer Brendan Peyper).
This Pretoria-born hottie gave up his studies in Administration Finance for the risky life of an actor. And it paid off! He’s now known for his TV roles in the series Muvhango, playing ladies man Gundo, and currently as Vuyo on Generations – The Legacy.
Nkuli has been previously named both the Sowetan’s Sexiest Man and the Feather Awards’ Hunk of the Year. With a stunning body, he proudly posed nude for Marie Claire’s Naked Issue to highlight sexual violence against women. He’s also a DJ on the side and recently finished in third place in the eighth season of Strictly Come Dancing.
Nkuli spoke to us about how it feels to be so damn hot, how he’d react if a gay guy came on to him, and much more.
Congratulations! How does it feel to be the runner-up in our Sexiest Man survey?
It’s a great honour. It’s always an honour when people want to give you an accolade and they believe that you are sexy. I’m grateful that people see me in that light.
Do you see yourself as sexy or as a sex symbol?
I don’t see myself as a sex symbol, but I have come to realise that people do consider me as one. I’m okay with it. I’m comfortable with such accolades.
You’ve posed nude for Marie Claire’s Naked Issue. Are you someone who is comfortable with their body and being naked?
I am comfortable with that, especially if it’s for a great cause, of course. And doing an activation against violence against women, that sat well with me. I put my body and my celebrity out there for a cause.
And going totally nude for an acting part?
Yes, I’d be comfortable with that.
If you had to choose a part of your body that you most like, what would that be?
Right now, I’m still working on my body, but I’m pretty proud of my chest. Not too proud of my back. I’m still working on that – and my abs…
How well do you know the gay community? Do you have gay friends or family?
A lot actually. I’ve worked very closely with gay people and I have gay friends.
How were gay people viewed in your family and community when you were growing up?
I think it’s only now that gay people are coming out completely. During my childhood, homosexuality was a bit of a taboo. It was not something we would see quite often. But now in the black community and in society in general, more people are coming out and being accepted as being gay.
Why do you think that gay people in South Africa still face rejection and discrimination?
I think it goes back to education at the end of the day; how people are educated about people’s sexuality. The more we are educated about something the more we see where it comes from. Those who are victimising gay people don’t know much about it, they believe it’s a taboo and that a ‘man is a man’. It’s a matter of education, so that they know that different sexualities do exist.
Do you you think celebrities such as yourself can help to change that?
I think we can. If there were campaigns we could go out there and support the gay community. We can show that the important part is that we are all human. We must try to live in the most harmonious way. We are all human!
Has a gay guy ever come on to you before? How do you handle that?
I have been. It’s happened quite often that gay guys like me a lot. I will kindly tell them that I am not gay and I’m straight. I am a polite person.
If you had to choose one male celebrity, local or international, as being sexy, who would that be?
Idris Elba is one, and Cristiano Ronaldo is another
What advice would you give to your young gay fans who might be struggling with acceptance?
My advice is to always stay true to yourself. Always know where you come from and don’t be caught up in so many social ideologies. Do not be afraid to dream big. In the life that we live, everything is possible – do not limit yourself.
Did you always want to be an actor?
My biggest passion lies in business and being an entrepreneur and I sort of fell into acting. I auditioned and I realised that I have a talent for it. I’m trying to incorporate my business sense with my acting. I’m trying to sell myself as a product and a brand.
And has acting turned out to be what you thought it would be?
It is a challenge – having to switch from character to character, but I’m one for challenges. It’s not easy, but you work hard on it. I’m always trying to better myself and my craft as much as possible.
You are a man of many talents, including DJing. If you had to decide between acting and that, which would you choose?
I think honestly, DJing would win, based on the fact that I’m so passionate about music. I come from a musical background. Everyone plays instruments, and I play drums. So I’m living that passion through DJing.
Was the Strictly Come Dancing experience a good one? Did dancing come naturally to you?
I worked really hard at it. I wanted to get far in the competition and I’m a hard worker. I hardly slept. I was rehearsing every single day, Monday to Friday, eight hours a day, for three months. I’m happy that I got third place.
When you’re not working what do you like to do to relax?
I don’t have much time to relax. When I do get the opportunity, I try to chill with my best friends. Just run away from the busy Joburg life and spend time with my girlfriend.
Tell us something about yourself most people wouldn’t’ know?
I love animals! I love dogs – A lot of people might not know that about me. A friend of my mine just had puppies two weeks ago and I’m waiting for a puppy from him.
What would you like to say to those fans who voted for you in our Sexiest Man survey this year?
I’d like to say thank you for the lovely support. Continue following me on Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to ask me any questions and interact and stay in touch.
The 2015 survey was presented by WeTheBrave.co.za, the groundbreaking campaign targeting gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), bringing sexy back into sexual health. Voters in the poll stood in line to win great prizes, including stylish timepieces from Police, designer underwear from Aphrodisiac and men’s skincare and fragrance from MichaelGamePlan.