Melusi Yeni

Melusi Yeni is a South African actor best known for his portrayal of Phenyo (Mazibuko) Dlomo on SABC 1’s soap opera, Generations and had previously the characters of Bheki Shabalala and Mabutho Sokhulu in Tshisa and Sokhulu & Partners respectively.

Melusi Yeni
Born Melusi Yeni
1977
KwaMashu
Durban
KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
Occupation Actor
Since 2000 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Melusi Yeni was born in the KwaMashu township located in the north of the city Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

He referred to his mother as “mam’Mpungose” in a March 2012 interview with a South African newspaper, the City Press, published on News 24 website and titled “Chit Chat: Melusi Yeni.

According to a January 25, 2015 Daily Sun article titled “Family Mum About Pat’s State of Health” Melusi Yeni has a sister named Gugu. It is unclear if he has any other siblings.

Melusi Yeni attended Roseland Primary School in Newlands East, a suburb neighboring his township of birth – KwaMashu, in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

“I remember performing the role of Joseph at Roseland Primary when I was in standard two and the thrill I got from the warm reception of the entire school,” Melusi Yeni said in a City Press interview.

It is understood that Melusi Yeni completed his schooling in the KwaZulu-Natal province although unclear what high school did he attend.

He has previously said that he arrived in Johannesburg from Durban in 1999, “and when I came to Joburg in 1999 to pursue a career on the small screen my focus became musical theatre,” Melusi Yeni was quoted by the City Press.

Melusi Yeni has previously stated that he spent his early years in the city of Johannesburg doing theatre (stage plays) work, “And when I came to Joburg in 1999 to pursue a career on the small screen my focus became musical theatre. For three or four years I was in shows like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and I got to sing and act. But acting took over,” he has been quoted saying.

 

Tshisa and Sustained Success; 2006 –  to date

In 2006 Melusi Yeni starred in an SABC 1 original youth drama series, Tshisa, where he portrayed the character of Bheki Shabalala; the show also starred Bongani Masondo and Zukisa Matola. He returned for the second season and reprised his role as Bheki Shabalala while he only  made a guest appearance on two episodes on the third season.

In 2007 he joined the cast of SABC 1’s drama series Home Affairs when the show returned to air for its third season; he portrayed the character of Ntsepe. He returned for the show’s fourth and final season where he reprised the role of Ntsepe.

Melusi Yeni and Katlego Danke Generations WeddingIn 2008 Melusi Yeni starred on the SABC 1 original procedural legal drama series, Sokhulu & Partners, alongside Thami Afrika and Linda Sokhulu; on that show he portrayed the character of Mabutho Sokhulu, he returned for the show’s second and final season.

In 2009 he had a guest starring role on the third season of SABC 1 drama series, Mthunzini.com, where he portrayed the character of Zam. In 2010 he featured on e.tv’s original drama series, 4play:Sex Tips for Girls, where he portrayed the character of Tshepiso across two seasons but did not return for the third and final season.

In 2011 Melusi Yeni joined the cast of a then new M-Net soap opera, The Wild, starring Connie Ferguson, Shona Ferguson and Minnie Dlamini; there he portrayed the character of Isaac Tladi. Also in 2011 he played the role of Mthunzi in Shreds and Dreams, an SABC 1 mini series. In 2012 he joined the cast SABC 1’s long running soap opera, Generations, where he portrayed the character Phenyo Mazibuko (later Phenyo Dlomo). His character was written off prior to the show’s August 2014 implosion which resulted in the principal cast being dismissed.

In 2014 he guest starred as himself on Ses’Top La having previously appeared as TT on the show forerunner, City Ses’la, of which Ses’Top La is essentially a spin-off. Also in 2014 Melusi Yeni joined SABC 2’s soap opera, Muvhango, where he portrayed the character of Dr. Pat Mojalefa.

 

 

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2005 City Ses’La TT Guest, Sitcom
2006 – 2009 Tshisa Bheki Shabalala Supporting Role, Drama Series
2007 – 2010 Home Affairs Ntsepe Supporting Role, Drama Series
2008 – 2011 Sokhulu & Partners Mabutho Sokhulu Lead Role, Drama Series
2009 Mthunzini.com Zam Guest, Drama Series
2010 4Play: Sex Tip for Girls Tshepiso Supporting Role, Drama Series
2011 The Wild Isaac Tladi Supporting Role, Soap Opera
2011 Shreds and Dreams Mthunzi Lead Role, Mini Series
2012 – 2013 Generations Phenyo Mazibuko/ Dlomo Lead Role, Soap Opera
2014 Ses’Top La Himself Guest, Sitcom
2014 Muvhango Dr. Pat Mojalefa Supporting Role, Soap Opera

 

 

Departure from Generations and Muvhango

Melusi Yeni joined Generations from M-Net’s short-lived soap opera, The Wild, and as the storyline surrounding his character (Phenyo Mazibuko who had since learned that he was actually a Dlomo) developed the news began surfacing that he was leaving the show.

The news of his departure from Generations came along with unconfirmed rumours that he was headed across the hallway to Muvhango which airs on SABC 1’s sister channel SABC 2 an hour later after Generations. As history attest Melusi Yeni left Generations and later proceeded to Muvhango.

 

Numerous reports have claimed that Melusi Yeni’s departure from Generations was due to his inability to learn and remember the script; “Melusi always forgets his lines. There were too many cuts because he kept on getting his lines wrong,” an unnamed  source was quoted by the Citizen. “Producers complained to the soapie’s creator, Mfundi Vundla, about Melusi’s performance,”another unnamed source was quoted by the Citizen.

However, Generations publicist Nyagunda Ngwenya said in a statement, “Melusi is a professional and talented actor. And Generations doesn’t cut and paste scenes! We’re professionals. We’ve been around for 20 years and we’re still going strong.”

 

  • Muvhango

The Sunday World reported that Melusi Yeni’s contract was not renewed on Muvhango “allegedly because of bad press and lack of preparation for his work,” as reported by the aforementioned publication.

“Duma tried to shape him up, but he failed, resulting in his contract not being renewed. He delayed production and the actors who were prepared were getting annoyed. I don’t know whether he does not take his job seriously or if he has memory issues,” an unnamed source was quoted quoted by the Sunday World.

“I think he might be called back when he has sorted out his bad image because Duma [Ka Ndlovu] does not like bad publicity,” another unnamed source was quoted quoted by the Sunday World.

However, Muvhango publicist Kgalema Mametse said in a statement, “Dr Pat Mojalefa’s storyline ended when he moved to Durban. Should the writers bring new stories for the actor, we will engage Melusi.” The Sunday World concluded by saying, “Mametse denied that Ndlovu had a talk with Yeni over his performance and insisted that he wasn’t fired due to bad publicity.”

 

 

Personal Life

Melusi Yeni was embroiled in a dispute with a woman named Palesa Yvodia Molemela over the paternity of her child and it later emerged that the child was his; as a result he was liable for child support – a less than a year old daughter (at the time).

Melusi Yeni Drum Magazine CoverThe story was a subject of a Drum Magazine exclusive which led with an online teaser which read, “As Melusi Yeni’s star fades, DNA tests have proved he’s the father of his former friend’s child. We speak to his baby mama about why she feels he must pay his dues.”

In the wake of the accusations that the baby was conceived after a single casual encounter Palesa Yvodia Molemela told Drum magazine that they were more like “friends with benefits” and that the only reason she approached the courts was after Melusi Yeni’s lawyer requested a paternity test.

It has been reported that Palesa Yvodia Molemela was demanding R6000 per month however Melusi Yeni offered R1500 due to his employment situation.A May 2015 Sunday World report revealed that he had not been able to pay as ordered by the court and Palesa Yvodia Molemela had pleaded with the Randburg Magistrate’s Court to issue a warrant for his arrest as he was in arrears of R7500 in child support; “She decided to go the legal route to force him to honour his fatherly responsibilities. Molemela is struggling financially as a result of his failure to support his child. This is the reason she wants the court to intervene” an unnamed  source was quoted by the Sunday World.

 

  • Relationship with Angela Dzara

It has been reported that during Melusi Yeni’s highly publicized baby saga which involved a paternity test and child support, his then girlfriend -Angela Dzara who is (or was) a make-up artist on Muvhango-  was not aware of the infant’s existence and only learnt through the media. Furthermore it has been reported that the pair is expecting a baby.

 

  • Health Issues

In January 2015 reports emerged that Melusi Yeni was hospitalized for two weeks at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in the city of Durban as a result of illness undisclosed to the public. He was later discharged from hospital and spent some time recuperating at his parent’s home in KwaMashu, Durban. It is understood that Melusi Yeni has since fully recovered.

 

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