The Uzalo cast added a fresh face in 2020 when they introduced the intriguing Nomcebo to the storyline. Played by the Nombulelo Mhlongo, the character-actor dynamics are quite interesting as far as Nomcebo is concerned. The real life actress much younger than the character she portrays on screen (Nomcebo is a whole mother!) and Nombulelo has taken on the role with confidence and aplomb.
As part of this week’s ongoing Uzalo takeover, we spoke to the young actress who opened up about her work across the industry and her experience of bedding into the Uzalo family.
The thespian also opened up about her experience of making the most of the time off during lockdown and how her online audience has exploded since she joined the SABC 1 soapie.
Dreaming Out Loud With Nombulelo Mhlongo
Moziak Magazine: How’s it going on this winter day?
Nombulelo Mhlongo: “I’ve been trying to get everything together to record an online audition, but it’s been frustrating me all day.
MM: Aside from that blip – how has the rest of lockdown been treating you?
NM: I was at home for the first 35 days of lockdown, then we moved down from level 5 to level 4 – which allowed broadcasters and producers to get back to work. So I came back to Durban for work and I was actually glad to be back – I was starting to lose my mind a little bit!
MM: Was it really that bad?
NM: Okay, not that bad I was reading about the quarantine experiences that people had. I read about a woman who was actually in one of the hotels in South Africa and had to take one of those chartered flights from Romania. It was all ridiculous to imagine some of the crazy things that people have experienced so it made it a lot easier for me to stay indoors.
MM: How did you keep your acting skills sharp during this time?,
NM: I’ve been reading a lot more and getting back towards my old passions including classical theatre. I’ve also been doing a lot of self-takes in South Africa after the industry sparked a #MonologueChallenge and although I was a bit shy in the beginning I still got involved anyways. I overthink things like that a lot!
I’ve also been working on my accent [switches to British accent] because a lot of monologues have required something a little different.
MM: Have you had the chance to work on any other skills?
Yeah! I’ve been writing a lot as well, I’m actually an underground writer and I’ve been sending some of my recent stuff to my mentor. I’ve written some interesting stories about the pandemic, about life in lockdown, with characters whose circumstances just don’t make sense for what the government asked. Things like only having 2 people in an apartment at a time isn’t possible for people who live 5, 6, 7 people to a 1 bedroom shack. So my writing has been trying to depict what’s happening on the ground.
MM: What has it been like to introduce Nomcebo to Uzalo faithful?
Nomcebo made her debut earlier this year and everyone has been great. From the cast that I’ve been working with, to the crew, to the fans – I’ve just been welcomed with warm arms and it feels like I’ve always been here. Also, my following on Instagram has just blown up in such a short space of time.
When I started on Uzalo, I was on 289 followers. Now it’s on like 10,000 +. So it’s fair to say that the community has been great to me!
MM: Wow! Has it been scary to be exposed to so many people in such a short space of time?
A bit, but throughout this growth I have met some tremendous people including this beautiful 15-year-old girl who told me she was too shy to go live because she had been told that she is too ugly or too dark to do something like that. So I decided, you know what? Let’s go live together! And it’s become this wonderful thing I could do just to give back to someone who is still asking themselves a lot of questions and navigating through those tricky teenage years.
MM: What closing words do you have for Uzalo’s loyal viewers and Moziak Magazine readers?
Thank you to everybody who has supported uNomcebo’s journey so far, there’s still plenty more to come so keep your eyes glued to Uzalo on SABC 1!