Actor and singer Strini Pillay made his TV soapie debut as the new journalist on '7de Laan', one of SA's most popular Afrikaans soapies. Here he answers a questions to give us an insight into him.
What has it been like to work as a cast member of 7de Laan?
The show operates under a meticulous system, unlike Generations and Scandal!, as 7de Laan has a different approach to the genre which sees us working more closely with the director, almost like a theatre production. All in all, it's been great fun.
Born in Cape Town, Strini Pillai was singing and acting by the age of four. By seven he had already become a regular entertainer at school productions as well as at local homes for the aged and orphanages. He hit the Cape Town club scene at the age of 12, 'wowing' audiences with golden oldies, Jazz, Blues, Pop and Rock.
By 1994 Strini had expanded his repertoire to include all the performing platforms of stage, film, radio and television, making him a household name locally and abroad. Just two weeks after being appointed as an M-Net domestic continuity announcer, Strini was also appointed an announcer on M-Net Africa and Movie Magic.
At the same time he was entertaining and educating children nation-wide as the puppeteer and voice of SABC 1’s mega character Mr. Chinwag on Kideo. 1996 saw Strini performing in the controversial stage production 'Dinner Talk' as well as various other musicals in prominent theatres. Stini’s own production called 'Intimate' ran for eight months and audiences got to see his range of talents while he performed cover songs as well as original work, danced and showcased his comedic abilities.
Strini has become one of the most popular actors across the colour spectrum, lending himself to radio and television as a voice over artist for commercials and acting on hit shows such as Egoli, Villa Rosa, Scandal, Home Affairs 1 and reaching super status as Devan on Generations in South Africa. His effortless ability to flit between comedy and drama has also contributed immensely to his rise in popularity.
Moving from television to film was a natural step for Strini and he has played various roles locally and abroad. He is currently negotiating the sale of his very own movie script, 'Even Eden' to a British producer.
Music being another one of Strini’s passions he has just written, recorded and released his experimental debut album, 'Raw Canvas' in which he performs the lead vocals and most of the backing vocals himself. To date two of the twelve tracks on the album have made it onto Kaya FM’s top 10 list and 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s Homebrew top 10, featuring the hottest SA songs as voted for by the listeners. A second album is already in the pipeline.
When he can, Strini likes to give something back and does appearances and performances for various charity events and organisations, including National Cancer Day and the Sunflower Fund.
As if all of these accomplishments were not enough, Strini is also the face of the new Indian Channel on DSTV called Saffron TV, launched in September 2008. On the new channel audiences are able to catch Strini hosting a cooking show, a Sunday Extra Show aligned with the Sunday Times Extra and a Boys Toys Show featuring everything from the latest gadgets to super cars.
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