AFDA | Interview | Screen Actor

Chulumanco Pakade is known as Chulu to his friends and Chusta to his family. He was born in East London but raised in the heart of Queenstown. Chulu’s major for this year is live performance.


Before coming to AFDA to get his acting degree, Chulu already had a diploma in acting. This proved to be a problem for Chulu’s father because he wanted Chulu to get a degree. He saw AFDA’s details online and enrolled Chulu at this prestigious university. The rest, as they say, is history.

Chulu’s research thesis for this year is focused on the impact of intimacy coordination in the South African film industry. ‘The reason why I chose this topic was to mainly educate myself on how the industry will affect me and know how well prepared I should be for it.’

Chulu’s favourite place on campus is the black box theatre, which is a massive room that’s painted black from the floor to the ceiling. This is the place where most actors spend their time when studying live performance at AFDA. I ask him if he likes screen acting or stage acting more. ‘I like doing practicals in the screen acting venue,’ he answers.


What dream job would Chulu like to have one day? ‘I would love to be part of a huge production and dream of leaving something that shows I was here.’

But Chulu is not a dreamer – the kind of dreams that you get at night when you sleep. ‘To some people they mean something and I understand why, to me not so much, even though sometimes they feel real.’

I ask him if he thinks it would be cool to live forever. ‘No, it would suck,’ he says. ‘Experiencing the timeline we are in currently is much more exciting and devastating at the same time. I would be numb to the experiences at this point if I had lived through all life’s events.’


Chulu speaks highly of his peers at AFDA. ‘Everyone I know is just doing well for themselves and I’m proud of them for it.’

He’s not someone who feels alone easily. ‘If at some point I was alone, I wanted to be alone.’ He explains further: ‘People are everywhere; my people are filmmakers and we are everywhere.’


When I ask Chulu how old he is, he gives me a clever but evasive answer: ‘I’m older than Google but younger than the internet. I still remember when cassette tapes were cool.’

His day-to-day activities include skateboarding and listening to music. He tells me, ‘I would love to skate more, but lately I’m too busy with school work. Also, I broke my skateboard, unfortunately.’

When I ask him if he’s a pessimist or optimist, he says, ‘I most definitely see the glass half full.’ Recently, he heard the following quote from a lecturer at AFDA: ‘The will is strong but the flesh is weak’. He believes that the harder one works towards something, the more likely it will work out.

Chulu is someone who skates through life unbothered by the status quo. He stays true to himself and lives in his own world. He lives life loud, strong, and full of fun moments. Chulu is easygoing, humble, and doesn’t take life too seriously.

Chulu probably sums himself up perfectly when I ask him one last question: What’s the best advice someone ever gave him? ‘The best advice someone gave me was to take my own advice, really.’ And that’s exactly how Chulu lives his life: according to his own set of rules and regulations.


Chulu has the honour of performing at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this coming weekend. He is one of the three Honours students that will perform the theatre production ‘Fables, Rhymes & Fairy Crimes’.

A young (but very old) trio of bandit fairies, take you on a journey of song-dance and sometimes tears, in this wickedly ludicrous cabaret of old folk-tale favourites… Fables, Rhymes & Fairy Crimes is a physical comedy illustrating many classic tales from our childhoods, and some new, with a twist… Come enjoy some cheeky chirps, some dark twisty turns & old-wives’ tales never learned! It’ll be fun, it’ll be pretty & at times perilously naughty 😉 

For more info & to book tickets, click here:


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