Arts & Culture competition 2015
Born in 1994, the fourth of seven sons of Monicca Annah Sooka, Fana Sooka began school in 2002 at Regae Primary school, going on to secondary in Majatladi, South Africa. He had been an extrovert and was interested mostly in entertainment, always feeling vibrant over the performing lessons, known as Arts & Culture.
He performed for both his primary and secondary schools, and was seen to be the master of entertainment because he was given the platform to organize entertainment during any school event.
Art had always been part of his life. He grew up with the fever of becoming an actor. Fana Sooka is a stage drama director and actor in most of his stage drama projects. He started to become involved in the arts in primary school where they would be given various arts activities to participate in. This is where he realised he had a thing for the arts; “it was more like a calling,” he said. In 2009 he took his love for drama into serious consideration and since then has always wanted to become a televised actor. In 2009 while in primary school, he created a drama group where he was their leader and director, “they did our dramas for school functions and for class activities.” The following year, 2010, due to some changes he lost interest for a while and focused more in “being a teen” world. In 2012 he bounced back into the game and picked up the pieces from where he left off.
He started another group with Jan Rapetsoa; Retang Sekgobela and Tumelo Ngobeni, along with other teenagers, at a neighbouring village called Dichoeung. It didn’t last long and collapsed due to some unknown reasons, it was like he had a black cloud hanging over him. During 2013 and 2014, he created another group at Morarela village and they cooperated very well but he had to put the project on hold and start a drama group at his own township. In 2015 he started a drama group at Regae township with friends Thabang ‘Young Master’ Tala, Dickson ‘Tshipi’ Komape and Kamogelo Zaba.
The drama group was called Lentšu La Naga (Voice Of The Nation). It became popular for their stage drama ‘Dipsishamare’ which starred Kamogelo Zaba as Hunadi and Dickson Komape as Ngoato, along with their problem child Thabang Tala as Masenya, directed by Fana Sooka; written by Musa Gift Masombuka; filmed and edited by Tumelo “Tonic” Ngobeni with title music from The P.U.Ps. It is a Northern Sotho drama. They further gained popularity with their comedies.
The very same drama was listed amongst the top 5 best directed dramas on the municipality Arts & Culture competition in 2015.
“From there, after several months of practising, I focused more on the public and getting my work out there.” Fana Sooka focused on the film industry, hence not leaving his group Lentsu La Naga. In the film industry he partnered with Sophy Modisha and Musa Gift Masombuka who assisted him in writing his scripts, whereas he directed them for the stage. He further partnered with colleagues in the same industry such as Wilfred Lungile Seliba. In 2016, his drama script ‘Dipsishamare’ was nominated as the Best Drama Script at the Young Writers Awards along with Wilfred Seliba’s ‘High School Girls’.
“In the arts my aspirants are: Africa Tsoai; Lydia Mokgokoloshi; Thabiso Cornet Mamabolo and Alfred Mokwena.” He always saw himself being like, if not sharing the stage with them.
Apart from directing stage dramas and being a stage actor, Fana is also a comedian. He does stage comedy too along with Dickson Komape and Thabang Tala.
Their videos are accessible here and also on Google Plus.
“When I met Fana, he showed potential over his work, then I thought to myself, why not help this guy? I mean, he’s my homeboy. I can’t clearly explain how I met Fana, it just happened. You know what they say, you know a person with potential when you see one. I can see his work on media platforms in the next ten years. The art industry lies within his hands, even his history speaks for itself. I took him from the stage and to doing it for charity and business, just to balance the two you know,” – Musa Gift Masombuka.