Shafi is one of the popular Telugu actors, who have got training in acting. He attended the class in the National School of Drama and holds a degree in acting. The institution has produced talented actors like Naseerudin Shah,
Anupam Kher and
Om Puri, the legends in the Indian cinema industry. shafi was introduced to the cinema through the film Khadgam. Khadgam was directed by
Krishna Vamsi and this film yielded the best debutant award for Shafi. He has acted in Varsham, Pranam, Danger, Khadha, Telugammayi, Golconda High School, Killer, Wanted, Sahasra and many more Telugu movies. He has also acted in few Tamil movies such as Kutti Pisasu, Sindhanai Sei, Bheema and Thenavattu. Almost all the films are successful films in his career. Kamli is the film, in which Shafi did the lead role along with the National Award winner
Nandita Das. This film won the National Award for the Best Regional Film in the year 2006. This movie was played at the Asian Movie Festival in Mumbai and also at the Busan International Film Festival held in Korea. The film Chathrapathi gave him an opportunity to expose his talent and he won the Best Supporting Actor Award by Cine Goers. Bharathamuni Award was presented to Shafi for providing the supporting role in Khaleja.