TALENTED Uzalo actor, Ernest Msibi, who is known as Chester from the classic television drama series Yizo Yizo, is back with a bang. He grew up in Soweto with his grandmother and later went to live with his parents because of his bad behaviour. He then realised that he needed to change his bad ways. This led him to venture into acting.

Initially, he never thought he would be able to act, but people who liked his funny side encouraged him to go for it. He had to give it a try, and ever since he has never stopped.

Ernest admits he was a misbehaving child, and the things that he did nearly destroyed his life. He recalls that he lived around very bad people whose influence nearly ruined his image.

“I was a thief and into drugs. We hijacked cars and stole anything that is valuable so that we have some sort of an income. My grandmother was scared that something bad might happen to me, so she suggested that I would rather go live with my parents,” he says.

When Ernest went to live with his parents, things became worse. He says he joined different gangs which were notorious in the neighbourhood to a point where police were always looking for them.

“I disappointed my parents and I needed to stop. That’s where I met Kere Nyawo who played the character of Spinach in Zone 14. People always told me that I was funny because I always tell jokes but I didn’t believe them. I heard about Kere Nyawo’s group, where he taught acting and I joined the group,” says the actor. Ernest says people were scared of him because he was arrogant, and because they knew the bad things he was capable of doing. But he tried to mend his bad ways and decided to leave crime.

“I had to go and apologise for the bad things I did in my community. I had to gain their trust again, and show them that I have changed,” he says.

After he changed his life from being a thug, Ernest had opportunities lined up for him and one of them was Yizo Yizo.

“I enjoyed playing Chester and I believe that it made me showcase my talent. But it sort of disturbed me to find out that people played the very same role I played in real life,” says Ernest.

He says he went to schools to talk to pupils about the message behind his character.

“I motivated them as I was a criminal before and they understood,” he recalls.

Ernest’s brother happens to be Zakhele Msibi who plays the character of Sunday Nkabinde on Isibaya. Ernest says Zakhele is also part of the influence to be where he is now. “Even though it went quiet for me, I didn’t give up. I was busy with acting projects in my community. Uzalo came in, I went for auditions and they loved me,” he says.

Ernest says he enjoyed his character and he is glad people relate to it even though he makes up some words while acting. He wishes to go back to Uzalo but for now he will be focusing on helping his community with acting projects and making music