From being jailed at the age of 14 to becoming a star actor: The inspiring story of Gomora actor Don ‘Israel Masteke Zulu’
He has undoubtedly been dupped as the best on-screen gangster for small screens. With an illustrious career spanning decades, Israel Masteke Zulu has fast become one of Mzansi’s celebrated star actors who has capped his career with accolades.
He is best known for his on-screen role in Yizo Yizo, which thrust him into the limelight. The bubbly actor was involved in a series of criminal activities from housebreaking to burglary at 14-years. However, in the wake of his thrust into the spotlight, he had served almost 10-years in jail.
Rumour mill has it that he was involved in a housebreaking spree that happened between 1988 to 1994. In the wake of all these daring allegations, the actor has often weighed into the matter himself. No doubt, in one of his record interviews with DJ Fresh, he opened up about his upbringing and the problems he faced whilst growing up in a township.
The inspiring story of Gomora actor Don ‘Israel Masteke Zulu’
Zulu has it that poverty introduced him to criminal activities. He has it that he lived in a one-room with an extended family; hence hunger and poverty turned him into a bad boy. In a viral video that has since flooded social media, he revealed how their housebreaking incident went wrong and how they were arrested.
Whilst serving eight years, he decided to form a theatre group in prison, Abaqobi Drama Group. However, this later opened flood gates for him from Yizo Yizo to Gomora.
In 2015 he starred in etv drama series Z’bondiwe as Jakes Masilo, Killer’s right hand. He was cunning, ruthless and dangerous. A year later, he switched the floor to the Mzansi Magic gangster drama series isiBaya as a gangster by Cyprian Gumbi. Since then, he has been starring in several series. His Gomora character will forever go down in the history books.
In the Mzansi Magic drama series, he starred as Don. However, he kissed his on-screen character goodbye after he couldn’t walk on set due to a chronic disease that saw his leg amputated.