The Queen’s actor Xolani on the pain of losing his mother and his big TV break

After completing his studies at AFDA in acting, Xolani Mayekiso (27) got his big break on Mzansi Magic’s The Queen playing a young Thato who is running his family’s business.
The actor shares with Move! his current struggles with weight, losing his mom and being a good dad to his daughter.
When Xolani joined the cast of The Queen he was tall and lean but months later he has gained weight. He shares with Move! that his current weight is his normal body weight. “When I joined The Queen, I was hungry and starving. I guess being happy and content has made me too comfortable,” he says, laughing.
Xolani, who used to be a gym freak, says he hasn’t been taking care of himself but plans to change that. “I am working on transforming my body and it’s not easy. I want to make it fun and try new things too like boxing, dancing and a strict eating plan.”
On his childhood, the actor says he was born in QwaQwa but grew up in Harrismith. Xolani doesn’t know his father. “I don’t know anything about him, and my mom did a great job raising me. I also have an elder sister, but my mom also took in so many of my cousins and it feels like they are all my brothers and sisters,” he says.
In September Xolani lost his mom, and two nieces in a car accident. They were travelling from a family gathering and were hit by a vehicle that had come onto oncoming traffic. “It is something that you don’t get used to. I don’t even think I have fully dealt with it to this day. But I believe that time heals,” he says.
Growing up without a father has made Xolani more conscious about his relationship with his three-year-old daughter. “I love my daughter and I don’t want to disappoint her. She is the reason I wake up every day and hustle. I am trying to be the best father I never had. My mom would be proud of the man I have become. “Even though the actor and the mother of his child are not together, he says they have a good relationship. “We have a good relationship and are co-parenting with ease,” he says.
He appeared in a few TV ads and a scene on SABC 1’s Generations – The Legacy, but Xolani’s big break was on The Queen. He moved to Joburg to pursue his dream of becoming an actor in 2011.
“My journey has been humbling and exciting. In the beginning it was a bit scary too because of the pressure to deliver as expected,” he says. “I play the role of Thato, a kasi guy who came onto the show as a former drug addict and he has been trying to get his life together. “He admires The Queen producer Shona Ferguson. “He is hardworking and is living his dream. I too want to stretch myself to reach my dreams and one day leave a legacy for my children,” says Xolani.