New kid on the block Siphesihle Ndaba has won fans over with her portrayal of Mazet on Mzansi Magic’s “Gomora”.
We caught up with her.
What attracted you to this script?
What attracted me to the production was Mazet’s character bio. It’s a type of character that I have not explored or played before.
I love that they’ve written her as strong powerful yet vulnerable to the people she cares about kind of woman, she’s a problem solver, a go getter.
She knows what she wants and will do what she needs to get it (I may not agree with her methods of achieving what she wants but I admire her “won’t stop until I get it” attitude).
She also doesn’t try too hard to fit in. The story of “Gomora” itself is a microcosm of South Africa – it depicts the reality of many people; their socio-economic status, family dynamics etc its real and raw.
What are some of the qualities you like about her?
I admire her “won’t stop until I get what I want” attitude. She is also a very loyal friend/employee – once she lets you into her space she will do everything in her power to protect you.
She also doesn’t try to be liked, she does what she wants whether you like it or not – she doesn’t care much for public perception or “bazothini abantu”
So far, what has been the most challenging thing about playing this character?
I think so far the most challenging thing about Mazet has been her language.
I speak isiZulu – my parents are from KZN so I’d say my Zulu is quite decent – when researching the character and her environment I realised that I’d have to learn “township Zulu” and Tsotsi taal so I put a lot of time and research into that process to portray her authentically.
Mazet is a very confident woman – she does what she wants to when she wants to but uSiphesihle is quite a shy person so I really had to step out of my comfort zone to portray Mazet and sit comfortably in her lifestyle and her dialogue.
You attended the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, how did that experience influence you?
The school is a leadership academy which definitely harnessed my leadership skills. The school has helped me become a well-rounded leader – I try to better every aspect of my life e.g. academically, socially, physically , mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
The school has also equipped me with the ability to better articulate my thoughts and opinions respectfully.
I appreciated that the school celebrated everyone’s strengths and did not hold any career in higher regard to another; those that performed well in sports were celebrated, those that performed well academically were celebrated as well as those who performed well in the arts.
I appreciated that because I then felt comfortable and confident in pursuing a career in the arts. The school encouraged us to celebrate our strengths in every aspect of our lives. Which is why I studied Economics in University (as a backup) but knew I would not pursue a career in the field. I knew I was going to be within the artistic realm.
Gomora just became the most-watched show on Dstv, what does it feel like to be apart of a show like this?
Its an amazing feeling to be part of a production filled with such talented people from the cast to the crew. Its amazing because not only is our show successful but we also have such an amazing work environment. I learn something from my colleagues every week.
It’s also amazing and reaffirming to have your work and skills recognised. Its reaffirming as it’s a sign that all the work and sleepless nights I put in in university weren’t in vain. I am truly, truly grateful for this opportunity.
The reception towards Mazet’s character has also been so heart-warming and again reaffirming because I put in a lot of research to prepare for the character.
What has playing Mazet thought you so far?
To be fearless. To go after the things I want when I want them. To trust my instinct.