Up Close & Personal With Presley Chweneyagae "Mr Massive"

In less than six years of being active in the entertainment industry, Presley Chweneyagae won an Oscar award for his outstanding performance in Tsotsi, a movie he was featured in 2006. Winning an Oscar is a career achievement that many South African actors and actresses who have been in the industry have not been able to attain.

His fast rise in the entertainment industry makes him a personality of interest. Most fans always seek to know how he started, what his career was like, and of course, what his life off our screens looks like. Well, he does have an interesting life, so hang on as you enjoy the ride inside Presley Chweneyagae’s life and career

The South African apartheid regime is a story that has been told to the younger generation of South African people as a part of their history, but people who were born, who lived, and grew up at that time can relate more to the story. One of such people is Presley Chweneyagae, born during the apartheid – on the 19th of October 1984 – in Mafikeng, the North West Province of South Africa.

He was named after Elvis Presley, a popular American singer and actor who earned the title of ‘King of Rock and Roll.’ His mother named him after the famous singer because he was her favorite. His mother, Agnes Keagile, who was a police officer, had three other children outside Presley Chweneyagae. Still, she was detailed enough to notice Presley’s interest in acting as a child and did not fail to support him. .

From a very young age, Presley Chweneyagae developed an interest in acting. It was this passion that drove him to attend drama school owned by Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom. But before then, he was already acting in church dramas, and his mother had also previously enrolled him in acting class.

As a teenager, he was already acting in theater roles before finally landing his breakthrough acting role as a lead character in the 2005 movie Tsotsi. With all his smaller acting roles and what he learned from acting school, he was totally ready to take up the role, and to prove this, he delivered absolutely well that he even landed an Oscar award. His outstanding performance earned him international recognition.

Since his breakthrough movie, he has been featured in movies like Menda (2009), Zama Zama (2012), and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). In 2017, he was featured in the TV series iNumber Number, and in 2018, he was part of the cast for the South African soap opera, The River, as Thuso “Cobra” Mokoena. He has also featured in More Than Just a Game, State of Violence, Africa United, and 90 Plein Street.

Presley Chweneyagae has been nominated for many awards for his epic performance in movies, some within South African and others on the global scene. Here is a list of the awards he was nominated for and those he won:

His performance in the movie Tsotsi helped the movie win the 2006 award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.

In 2006, he won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role at the Black Movie Awards. 

At the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA), he won the Golden Horn for his performance in The River.

In 2020, he was nominated for the Royal Soapie award for the category of Outstanding Lead Actor.

After winning the Oscar award in 2006, Presley Chweneyagae had the opportunity to move to Los Angeles with his family. However, he decided that it was wiser to remain in South Africa with his family instead of rushing off to LA, where he was unsure of what opportunities await him there.
Despite his first decision to remain in South Africa instead of moving to LA, he still works with international TV producers. In 2020, he shuttled between the UK and South Africa, where he worked on a crime thriller movie called Silent Voice.

Presley is happily married to his wife, who is from Swaziland. Although he does not really expose so much about his family online, he still does not fail to show off his love for his beautiful wife, and their union is blessed with two handsome boys named Preston and Siya.

As the saying goes, you create time for what matters to you. Although the Oscar-winning actor usually has a busy schedule, he always creates time for his family. Having a peaceful home is something we all hope for, but it is not common among most South African celebrities.

Family and acting are the only things Presley Chweneyagae holds dear to his heart. He is a Christian, and he upholds his faith so much that it is not difficult to tell that he is one. Even though people find it difficult to accept that he is a Christian because they are used to seeing him in the light of the character he played in Tsotsi, the movie where he acted as a thug.

After all the success, Presley Chweneyagae has found a way to give back to society by starting up a foundation. He owns a foundation through which he gives back to society by reaching out to the rural community through performing arts. He reaches out to people in less advantaged regions using workshops and street talks
Chweneyagae is a good role model to young people who aspire to become successful in the entertainment industry. He has successfully created a balance in his career, family, and faith, which we do not always see with celebrities.


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