13/02/2017 10:44 SAST | Updated 13/02/2017 13:23 SAST

'Uzalo's Khaya Dladla Is So Great, He Didn't Even Know He Was Representing the LGBTI Community

Dladla aims to break the stereotype of gay men by "adding more depth" to his "Uzalo" character.

Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images
Vazi and Khaya Dladla attends the 22nd annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) at the Durban International Convention Centre on June 04, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The SAMAs are the Recording Industry of South Africa's music industry awards, established in 1995.

Actor Khaya Dladla has told The Times how he found it difficult to play his popular character GC in SABC1 soapie "Uzalo".

Dladla, who is gay, said he is the opposite of the flamboyant and chatty character.

"Lot's of people will think that it would be easy to play a gay man when I am gay, but I struggled to relate to the character at first and had to do research and spend time with people like GC to get into the role fully," he reportedly said.

According to the report, Dladla was also "a little surprised" at the reception of appraisal from people of the LGBTI community who consider him a "flag bearer".

"I didn't even know that I was representing the LGBTI community or raising the pink flag. I was just playing a character I believed in. But if that resonates with an audience and gives them a platform from which to speak on issues, then I am happy," he told the paper.

But Dladla highlighted the fact that many gay characters don't fully represent many gay people in townships, who are still in the closet and don't behave as portrayed by the entertainment industry.

GC is scripted as a stereotypical gay man but Dladla says he aims to break perceptions by "adding more depth" to his character.

Dladla has performed n several projects over the past weekend, including renowned stage productions "Sarafina" and "Lion King".