BET announced that Jesse Suntele has been voted Top Actor Africa in the grand final of the channel’s reality contest. Suntele, 23, beat fellow contestants Shamilla Miller (South Africa) and Alex Khayo (Kenya) in the final episode of the series which aired on BET (DStv channel 129) on 24 May 2016.

Jesse Suntele
Jesse Suntele

The overwhelmed actor was awarded a cheque for $10 000, a 12-month contract with international talent agency J. Pervis Talent Agency, and access to Hollywood auditions.

To win the final prize, Suntele had to dominate challenges and leave a strong impression on judges Zikhona Sodlaka, Brandon Auret (District 9 and Chappie), stunt expert Ciprian Florian and the BET viewers at home who voted online for their favourite contestant. Martial arts and stunt work were among the skills Suntele had to master while delivering a convincing performance in the Action Movie challenge.

Formally trained as a sound engineer, Suntele discovered a love of acting during his participation in numerous school plays. After landing the very first professional audition he attended, he realised that he actually had a genuine talent for acting. Suntel subsequently went on to act in numerous commercials and has appeared on the South African drama series Ashes to Ashes.

Suntele said, “I’m extremely proud of myself and of the other finalists, Shamilla and Alex. Those two will never know how much they pushed me and played a part in how hard I had to work for this. They won’t ever know the impact they’ve made in my life and I’m grateful to have met them and I’m honoured to be an actor alongside them.”

Monde Twala, vice president at BET said, “Congratulations to Suntele on his well-deserved success. He is a fantastic actor with immense talent and it’s been awe-inspiring to watch his craft grow and develop over the course of Top Actor Africa. We look forward to seeing his name in lights and his career blossoming from this point forward.”

Samad David, creator and executive producer said, “Tonight was a proud moment for us all. This moment in Top Actor Africa history belongs to Suntele, whose journey from the audition process to the finale was not an easy one. Suntele didn’t show up performance wise in the Theatre challenge and later was almost completely eliminated in the Shakespeare challenge due to self-doubt. Through the struggles, he found a way to come back stronger than ever challenge after challenge. A hard fought victory indeed.”

For more information visit the BET website.

Source: Screen Africa