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Wednesday, 28 February 2024 21:06

Imprisoned serial killer Bonko Khoza reflects on his 'Red Ink' role.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.


Award-winning actor Bonko Khoza is back on the small screen, playing the role of an imprisoned serial killer on Red Ink.

The eight-part thriller series Red Ink tells the story of journalist-turned-publicist Lucy Khambule (played by Nqobile Nunu Khumalo), who is approached by an imprisoned serial killer Napoleon Dingiswayo (Bonko Khoza) to tell his story. 

Red Ink is a partnership between Angela Makholwa-Moabelo's Britespark Films and Bomb Productions.

Questioned about the preparation involved in fully embodying his character, Khoza reveals the psychological readiness to take on the role but underscores the significant physical adjustments required."He's been in prison for 13 years, so what does that look like? I lost around 15 kilograms. I hardly ate on set. And we started creating things that are unique to him—these facial and neck twitches. So I had to get used to that and timing those in the performance," he explains.

When questioned about how he detaches from Napoleon's persona after each day of filming, Khoza shared insights on his ability to compartmentalize the character.

"I'm able to pack the character away and bring him out when I need to because I create him so far from me. Me and Napoleon are worlds apart. Napoleon is easy – you put on overalls and some glasses. You switch on to the things you switch on.

"But my life at the moment is so hectic that it was hard to switch Bonko away from the work. I've just had a kid, I just moved houses, so I have a lot on my mind. It's just exhaustion, something I can't run away from. How are my eyes going to look white when I haven't slept (more than) four hours?"

Red Ink debuted on Showmax on 12 February, with new episodes on Tuesdays.

Serial killer-based TV productions, such as ReykaDevil's PeakKiller Front Page and Devilsdorp, have simultaneously entertained and shocked audiences recently. 

Among Showmax's new offerings is Catch Me a Killer, starring Charlotte Hope as Micki Pistorius, South Africa's first serial-killer profiler. 

Also adapted from a book — Pistorius's memoir — this true-crime series set in the mid-1990s traces her  quest, as a newly qualified forensic psychologist, to track down South Africa's most feared killers.