Chinese actor born in South Africa takes showbiz by storm

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Mzansi does not only have international gems in Charlize Theron, Arnold Vosloo, Kim Engelbrecht and Nomzamo Mbatha. There is also Kenneth Fok, the only Chinese international actor born in South Africa. Fok has performed alongside big names such as Matt Hew McConaughey, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.

His next big appearances will be in Rogue with Megan Fox and in Warrior Season 2, as well as in Cars That Built the World for the History Channel on DStv, where he plays Eiji Toyoda, which transformed the family car manufacturing business (Toyota). in the world’s largest vehicle producer. Larger than life, Fok loves Mzansi for his warmth and humor.

He tells how his last name, although it has a prestigious history in China, means something completely different in Afrikaans. Fok, who was born in Germiston and raised in Krugersdorp, says: “You can imagine the phone calls we received. Nonetheless, I grew up to be proud of our last name. Fok, who easily converses with multiple accents, says he speaks Afrikaans, English and Cantonese, as well as some Zulu, noting that he had an education without a hitch except for the comments. racial occasional.

He says: “They were always surprised not to expect a reaction, which quickly silenced them. I have always believed in defending yourself. I grew up on a vegetable farm and it was a real pleasure to have access to fresh vegetables, which I probably took for granted.

“My parents struggled for a long time to raise seven children in South Africa and to send money to help a family in China. But they persevered and built a thriving farming business, and more importantly, to provide us with everything we needed and build strong family bonds.

“I have three brothers and three sisters. I used to be fluent in Zulu when I was young because my best friend was Zulu. I was also fluent, but unfortunately I forgot [Zulu] after we left. He explains that acting came quite unexpectedly and relatively late in his life. “I went to Kuo Ting Chinese School, then I enrolled in Glenvista High. I once saw an advertisement for a TV presentation class, which I did.

“After I finished the course, I still wanted to do more in front of the camera. “The instructor suggested I study acting and that’s where my acting started, in my mid-twenties. I was part of the first drama class at AFDA which graduated in 1999.

He has since taken on Japanese, Korean, Malaysian and Chinese roles. “I can also do the Russian accent, but a Chinese with a Russian accent … I haven’t used that for a character yet,” he jokes. Although he has starred in international blockbusters including Safe House with Washington and Reynolds, he feels he’s still waiting for his big break. Fok also starred in the local hit movie, Five Fingers for Marseille, with Warren Masemola and Vuyo Dabula. He cites his most memorable acting experiences with McConaughey.

“I’ve worked with McConaughey twice – first on The Dark Tower, then on Serenity. We had more time to chat one-on-one on Serenity and we talked about actor and family, it was insightful. I saw firsthand why he is an Oscar winner. Her most memorable role to date is Jacob, in the Warrior television series, produced by Justin Lin and Shannon Lee, daughter of the late Bruce Lee.

“In the second season, I tapped into emotions and physical challenges that I had never explored before. The gravity of my character’s journey and the eventuality that reflected the factual story was a pretty deep experience. “

Real South African Fok enjoys family braai and soccer with the guys.

Somaya Stockenstroom

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