Images by: Mlungisi Mlungwana | Creative Director Ayanda Sithebe | Make-up by Phumzile Mhlongo |
Editor: Mandisa Vundla
1. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I have a number of embarrassing moments which usually happen during live interviews. I’m an actress who still gets petrified of public speaking. I am never fully conscious of what I’m saying. Public speaking is my biggest weakness. I stumble and fumble over my words. Most people think that since I am an actress it should come naturally but my heart beats terribly fast and anxiety kicks in. Being a live presenter would scare me? I only hope it’s not noticeable.
2. How did you break into the industry
My first TV debut was on Generations the Legacy back in 2015 where I played Lucy’s drug mule. It was an exciting time that introduced me to the industry. I officially broke into the industry in 2016 where I auditioned for a support role on MTV Shuga. Shuga held open auditions at Baseline where I was number 706. By the grace of God, my audition went so well that instead of a support, I landed a lead role where I played Khensani.
3. What is acting?
I have a number of friends who are changing the world. Many of whom are amazing doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. As a child, I always wondered what my contribution to the world would be. Acting had simply been my form of escapism. As I grew into my craft, I acknowledged the power of the body and its ability to speak truth to social issues. Acting then become a window introducing discourses, speaking truth to all forms of power. And that’s what acting has become for me today. It is a great tool and form, not only of entertainment but also of telling powerful stories that introduce important dialogue to society.
4. Is there anything that you would give up acting for?
Honestly, I do not have anything in mind. But if I did give up acting for something/anything I will surely have an alternative career in the industry. You will definitely find me directing or editing a story. I have found that as a member of the industry one can never remain in one craft. The entertainment industry is composed of a systematic web of careers. It is vital to know how every part of that system works. This can, in turn, assist you in the future, in regards to working in other parts of the industry. Not every acting brief will be for you. I have spent months without acting jobs and alternatively rely on my other abilities.
I did, however, give up a chance to start a medical bioscience career for the industry, and it was definitely worth it.
4. Who and what are your acting inspirations and why?
My inspirations include my mother. She is a grade 1, and drama teacher at her school. I grew up doing drama because of her.
Maggie Benedict. She is so beautifully gestural and expressive. I owe my career to her as she is someone I would immensely watch and imitate. I could say that she indirectly taught me how to act.
Jamie Bartlett has such an amazing and demanding presence on and off set. From him, I have learned that even the smallest of traits that an actor can implement within a character, can give that character so much more meaning and depth. It creates an admirable character even if she/he is a villain.
Warren Masemola effortlessly exudes all walks of life. His craft is so researched and thorough. I do not know him personally, but just from watching his performances, I could tell that he is extremely multi-cultured and that multi culturism is so evident in his work. Such a person you feel you know, even if you do not. Which is so important when establishing a character/audience relationship.
Vatiswa Ndara has the power to create memorable characters by not acting, but by simply being. She embodies her characters so perfectly that audiences would believe that she is her characters themselves.
6. If you could change one thing about the acting industry what would it be?
I would love actors to be more appreciated and respected for their craft. Appreciated and respected financially and moralistically, such that they are never exploited and are always protected from exploitation.
7. Television, Stage or Film?
Film. I personally feel that I can break more rules in film if I’m particularly directing it. I love breaking the rules because It opens space for innovation.
9. Three things you want to be remembered for?
I would love to be remembered as someone who created jobs, widely opened doors, and provided assistance to new graduated artists. Nothing hurts more than having spent thousands of rands to obtain a qualification and not have a job for long periods of time. I would also love to be remembered for telling stories with heart and truth.
And finally, extending my career on to the Hollywood platform would be amazing. God willing, I would love to have the power to open the Hollywood door for more South African artists too. South Africans are too talented for the world to not recognize.