Afrosapeur Spotlight: Transitioning From South African To American Actor, The Story Of Tongayi Chiris
It is humbling to know that Tongayi Chirisa who was a South African actor is now a screen celebrity in Los Angeles. He could not have made it to the mountaintop of Hollywood if not for his diligence. This week, African vibes wish to lead you on that journey that took Chirisa to the hottest place in California.
Who is Tongayi Chirisa?
On August 8, 1981, Chirisa was born a Zimbabwean in Harare. Though much is not known about his family, he is believed to come from a middle-class family. He was a distinguished child and watching him grow, his teachers saw a bright future in him. He once said,
“When I was between 8 and 10 years old, my teachers said that I would be good at drama, and it followed me through high school.”
He did not see himself as an actor until he saw the movie, Yellow Card. Watching Leroy Gopal in that movie, he could only imagine himself as a character. He knew that he could be great if he give acting a chance. Therefore he applied to study Live Performance at AFDA, The School for the Creative Economy. As fate may have it, he landed his first acting role in Zimbabwe. It was a radio soap opera, Mopani Junction, a 104 series opera on HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.
In 2002, he got into a tv soap opera, Studio 263, and performed as Detective Trevor Davies. He was so talented that he won the best film actor at the Zimbabwean National Merit Award after playing a major role in Tanyaradzwa.
Chirisa asked for more
Chirisa is consistent in that same direction as the Famous late Wakanda celebrity Chadwick Boseman who once said,
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me’.”
Winning the best actor in Zimbabwe was a good starting point but never laurel to rest on. Chirisa wanted more, he wanted to get to the best movie industry, Hollywood. Nevertheless, he had to start from somewhere. The only possible place which is better than his home country was South Africa. In 2006, he left Zimbabwe for Johannesburg, South Africa.
And he got more!
He did more commercials and featured in some dramas like “Happiness has four-lettered words” in South Africa. Perhaps, he was honing his skill and extending his tentacles. He created a niche for himself in South Africa when he acted “Mr. Bone 2”.
Eventually, he starred in “Crusoe” as Friday. Crusoe is a movie based on Robinson Crusoe, a book written by Daniel Defoe. It was after his role in Crusoe that he became a possible entrant to Hollywood. However, it did not come without some sacrifices.
He stepped into America hoping to get into stardom. While applying for movie auditions, he parked cars for Hollywood stars. This Zimbabwean-born actor believed that he would park his car as a star in Los Angeles. Eventually, his aspiration became his manifestation as he was invited for a role in Jim Gaffigan’s show.
He featured as Father Nicolas and exhibited his lively and humorous character in the show. Eventually, he attracted himself to gigs after gigs. From iZombie, American Horror Story to Netflix’s Palm Springs where he starred with Andy Samberg. Palm Springs has a record-breaking right deal worth $22 million.
His talent also pulled him into the Netflix features, Antebellum and Another Life. Considering his characteristic voice, Chirisa did not stop at acting alone, he ventured into the music world, releasing amazing songs Usacheme and No man. Chirisa’s deep pocket is a great significance of his achievements. He is currently worth above one million dollars.
On the sojourn to greatness, Tongayi Chirisa found his rib, Ericka Guitron. Ericka is an actress and pop artist. She has a YouTube channel with over 60,000 subscribers. In 2018, she starred in a movie called “I will never leave him”
Ericka’s YouTube video made her more popular when Rihanna’s pictures which she uploaded on her channel attracted more than 2 million views. Little wonder she was invited to the Apollo Showtime by Steve Harvey.
One of the outstanding qualities of Tongayi is his humility. It is so peculiar that it can be sensed even in his dressing, Here are some of his fashion outfits that you can and should be imitating.
Resplendently clothed in a navy-blue suit to fit into any kind of formal ceremony, this Hollywood actor draws a simple conclusion. Fashion must not be complex to be attractive. Perhaps, it is time to stop struggling so hard.
Tongayi always likes to keep things at their barest minimum, probably to avoid paparazis. In different shades of ash color, he keeps this combination simple and classy.
Apart from their foods, Indian clothes are beautiful to behold. Just like a black Indian, Ericka’s husband is dressed in a white sherwani. He went on to cover his natural kinky hair with a white wig after dotting his fashion with that beautiful brown dhoti.
Tongayi’s Casual Wears
Summer seasons are the best time to be yourself. Just a long-sleeved striped top and a shady colored pair of trousers to suit too. With a backpack for vacation and a pair of spectacles to protect his eyes, Tongayi has nothing to weigh him down on his journey. He seemed to slow down for a snapshot before continuing his journey.
Africa is the continent closest to nature. If you are in doubt, contact this handsome actor who is looking refreshed and younger in this outfit. Jackets are for keeping warm but it does look like a fashion accessory on Chirisa.
Just like a typical American, he chooses comfort over everything. Though it is a plain ash-colored round neck, the black-colored designs on the sleeves give his wristwatch a platform to stand. Tongayi is more concerned about making a point without voicing it.
Local Wear for Tongayi
Though this picture was taken during a movie shoot, it spoke more of what Tongayi could have looked like if he was born during the pre-colonial era. He has his leather hat to protect him from the scorching sun. He looks so manly in this picture that you will not be mistaken to call him a hunter.
Currently, Tongayi is writing some scripts as he looks forward to producing a movie about Africa. He hopes that it will be a story of an insider. He has done great as a movie actor and will no doubt do better as a producer. Tongayi Arnold Chirisa is a challenge to Africans who believe in the reality of their dreams. His dream to be a Hollywood actor came true because he worked on it, one at a time. You can work on yours.