TV's 5 Notable Indian South Africans Of 2014

South African minorities tend to get lost in the fray between blacks and white. While the line between the white and black entertainment industry is clearly drawn in South Africa (not that we want to admit it), minorities like Indian South Africans have not being given the attention they deserve. That is changing. 

In 2014 South African entertainment industry has seen a slight but note worthy appreciation of Indian talent on our screen.

Here are my pick of few Indian faces who made an impression this year. 
  • Tevin Naidu
Johannesburg born, Durban raised and former Medical student, Tevin is not just an Indian guy but a South African guy... if you catch my drift. His charm transcends the screen. The boyish looking Naidu was the new presenter on the abruptly canned Eastern Mosaic. He is now a contributing presenter on SABC2 magazine show, Mela. Read about him HERE.  
  • Zakeeya Patel

26 year old Zakeeya became a household name after winning Strictly Come Dancing. However the UCT graduate had been in the business way before SCD. She landed her first role in the feature film 'Material', where she starred along side acclaimed actors such as Riaad Moosa and Vincent Ebrahim. From 'Material' she went onto star in 'The Wild', next to the series 'High Rollers'. Of late she has appeared on shows like 'End Game', 'Skwizas','7de Laan' and 'Mzansi Love'. She is also the presenter of magazine show, Mela on SABC2.
  • Mishal Mookrey

Capetown born and raised Mishal Mookrey is also an Eastern Mosaic alumni. The guy with a smile that lights up the screen has a Bachelors of Arts Film and Television Degree and is currently in the final stage of completing his MBA at Henley Business School, University of Reading. He can now be seen on SABC2 on Mela.
  • Samir Randera-Rees

Thought I was the only one who noticed Samir Randera-Rees' potential but I was wrong. Everyone is suddenly talking about part-Indian, part-Welsh newbie to TV. He is the new addition to 50/50 as the show has restructured to fit into the SABC3 brand. Samir doesnt just bring good looks, he is also well-travelled — having studied in France, England and Portugal, and also has game ranger qualifications, a BSc in environmental science as well as European Masters in applied ecology focusing on carnivore interactions. Read more about him HERE.
  • Ashish Gangapersad

Former Isidingo star caused quite a stir on Strictly Come Dancing this year. The guy who clearly can't dance to save his life won the hearts of SABC3 viewers by committing fully to every dance task week after week on the show.
Honorary mention: Sashi Naidoo
Shashi has been a media fodder for some time now but this year the raven beauty returned to TV hosting on SABC3's "Tongue In Cheek". The show was a disappointment but Shashi was introduced to a whole new audience as a presenter. 
These are but a few names and faces that stood out for me this year from the South African Indian community. There are a few other Indian-South Africans working in the industry. Unfortunately, as I stated in my opening, minorities have not been given a fair share of acknowledgement and coverage. 

The success of these personalities and representing their community in the industry is only the beginning. They are already cracking the glass and this will enable young Indian-South Africans who look up to them and want to join the industry break through that ceiling. 

It is also important to point out that, these are South Africans. They are a talent that all South Africans should be proud of and embrace. I am doing my part in introducing you to their work, You can support them by engaging with them on their various social media platforms. 

Diversity is exciting and our industry needs a little more of it. Let's hope this is the beginning of seeing more Indian faces on our screen across all channels. 

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