South African actress Samke Makhoba might be based in Johannesburg, but she found herself under lockdown in Durban as the result of a series of (fortunate!) events. The rising star has slowly become a more frequent feature on South African television over the past years. Her role as Khensani on the SAFTA-winning MTV Shuga earned her plenty of local and international acclaim, and this year she hit the ground running when she joined the cast of SABC 1’s Rented Family.
Despite the fact that her momentum was halted by COVID-19 and the eventual lockdown that followed, Samke is still in high spirits and joined us for the latest interview as part of our ongoing feature #TheQuarantineEdition.
Moziak Magazine: How are you social distancing during this period?
Samke Makhoba: I was fortunate enough to be in Durban for a meeting during the lockdown period. I had no choice but to go home, where I grew up, back to my mothers house where cleaning, cooking, and other manual labours awaited. I am social distancing by strictly staying at home.
MM: Where do you wish you were right now?
SM: Right now I wish I were at my favourite Asian restaurant in Jozi. They make THE BEST Chinese food and service. Side note: I hope and pray that the owners of the restaurant are not being discriminated and violated in the wake of the pandemic. We don’t need to be ignorant in such a time. We are all fighting the same war.
MM: Name 3 positive things about the world almost coming to a standstill?
SM: Positive things happening to the world is its healing. I am a believer in the existence of global warming. As a girl born in Durban I have noticed the dramatic changes in sea levels. In the words of our very own Miss Universe, Zozibini, “We as individuals, can also play a part in making the climate what it should be in the future… it is up to us to keep the planet safe”. One can only hope that we, the people, politicians and cooperations acknowledge the positive differences and find ways of maintaining our current environmental state. The second positive thing that is happening is the display of Ubuntu. This is an African quality that we pride ourselves in from the beginning of time. We need each other more than ever. The third positive thing in the world’s art appreciation. The public are appreciating and acknowledging the importance of entertainment. I can only hope that after the lockdown our country produces even more good content.
MM: Name 5 things you plan to achieve whilst in “quarantine”
SM: 5 things I plan to achieve whilst in quarantine are A) completing preproduction for my first short film called Lala Vuka, a film based on mental health issues and sleep paralysis. B) complete conceptualising my first online series. The working title is currently “Azania”. It will be tapping into afrofuturism and Africanity. C) In the midst of the pandemic I would like try work around completing my YouTube web series called “My Body My Choice”, which serves to educate young women on how we can take care of our bodies. D) The lockdown has taught me the importance of a second income outside my profession. I would like to master the terminologies, business ethics and general knowledge in the prospects of my second income job. Education is key. E) Spiritual fulfilment. Deeper connection with my creator. Life just always seem better, easier and complete when a higher power is in control.
MM: What surprising item made your shopping list?
SM: A surprising item that has made my shopping list are multivitamins. I use to ignore that vitamin isle but now its always my first stop. I have a great desire to always keep my immune system up. It is one way to beat the possibilities of contracting the coronavirus
MM: Did you stock up on additional toilet paper?
SM: I DID NOT STOCK UP ON TOILET PAPER. Any stockpiling is extremely dangerous, as buying all items that others may need puts you in a vulnerable position, where everybody around you will be suffering. We all don’t want to get sick and we do not want to starve, so it is best to help each other by being considerate of others needs ensuring that others too are equipped with items to pull through the pandemic.
MM: Have any important plans or activities of yours been cancelled/postponed because of the coronavirus?
SM: Most of my work was in preproduction and I had fears of cancelations. Fortunately my funders for films I will be creating are working hard in helping me complete my scripts and productions are still giving me due dates for submissions. Visual meetings have been extremely helpful. I am proud of the countries responds to artists who have had cancelations. They will be paid for the duration of the lockdown. Those who contract corona, but have no medical aid will be assisted financially. I feel well taken care of.
MM: In a year’s time when you look back, what do you think you will be saying about this period?
SM: I would be extremely grateful to have survived, I would be proud of myself and my country for abiding to social distancing rules. I love my friends and family, and in a years time I would reflect on the difficulties of not seeing them. Human contact is highly appreciated. Expressing gratitude for small inexpensive things like walking in the park or the beach will be a big highlight.
MM: What advice do you have for people who are struggling with the idea of social distancing?
SM: My advise to people who are struggling with social distancing is to acknowledge its facts. The facts behind covid are alarming enough to make anybody stay at home. This is a dangerous virus which easily spreads from one person to another via small droplets. The symptoms are in 3 stages which may be misunderstood as something minor at first. It is important to also acknowledge that there are some people who are asymptomatic, meaning, that one could contract corona but not have symptoms, yet they could still accidentally expose it to someone with a low immune system. If you are asymptomatic and violate social distancing you could be responsible for someones illness or death. We need to be shocked and aware of the many worldwide deaths of thousands of people. In some countries, thousands of deceased bodies are being piled on top of each other every day for burial. Doctors are entering into depression and dying from coronavirus themselves. There is a great urgency for our safety. We as South Africa have the highest immunocompromised citizens with the highest numbers of HIV infected people and other chronic illnesses. We cannot reach chronic levels of coronavirus. We need to take care of each other. Ubuntu.
MM: What are you looking forward to the most when the coronavirus pandemic is over?
SM: I am looking forward to getting back on set, working, having dinner dates, spoiling my mother without any fear or anxiety.