CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

Ac­tress Jes­sica Nkosi, who plays Qondi on Isi­baya, says she is noth­ing like her queen char­ac­ter on screen, and she wishes her fans would stop ex­pect­ing her to be­have like roy­alty. Nkosi says there is a wide­spread mis­con­cep­tion among fans of the Mzansi Magic te­len­ov­ela, that she must be­have like a de­mure queen – and it’s “sad”, be­cause that’s not who she is.

“I got into the in­dus­try the first time as Qondi, but when I am Jes­sica many peo­ple get shocked and say they ex­pect me to be­have like my TV char­ac­ter. I guess it’s a down­fall of be­ing in a te­len­ov­ela. Qondi is shy. I’m not shy,” she says.

“Ngiyaphapha [I’m too for­ward]. And most of the time peo­ple don’t be­lieve me when they see this other side of me,” she says.

Nkosi has just signed on with a new ta­lent man­age­ment com­pany Ca­pac­ity Re­la­tions, which also man­ages Pearl Thusi.

She won’t re­veal any de­tails, but has a big project in the pipe­line, which will be an­nounced in a few weeks. Al­though her ca­reer is firmly on track, ru­mours that she is en­gaged to mu­si­cian and Idols SA sea­son eight win­ner Khaya Mthethwa keep dog­ging her.

Nkosi re­sponded for the first time to re­ports that she be­came in­volved with Mthethwa eight months af­ter his break-up with her one-time close friend, TV dar­ling Nomzamo Mbatha.

“This is old news that I’d not like to en­ter­tain. Khaya is my friend and we’ve never dated,” she in­sists.

Asked whether there is bad blood be­tween her and Mbatha, she says: “Nomzamo and I, we are cool. We work well to­gether on Isi­baya. I don’t have beef with any­one.” Right now, Nkosi hap­pens to be hap­pily sin­gle. “Do you know how much work I’m do­ing, es­pe­cially since I’ve been do­ing Our Per­fect Wed­ding (OPW)? If I were in a re­la­tion­ship, it would be over by now. It’s hec­tic.

“I travel a lot and maybe I’ll con­sider dat­ing at the end of the OPW sea­son.

“I’ve also heard sto­ries that I’m dat­ing a taxi owner. I’m not in­ter­ested in th­ese sto­ries,” she says.

And if you’re a man in show busi­ness, for­get about try­ing to catch her eye.

“So far, there’s a po­ten­tial guy for me. But in­ter­na­tion­ally, I pre­fer Lewis Hamil­ton,” she blushes.

De­scrib­ing her ideal man, she says he should be at least 35 years old, a busi­ness­man, and he should be be light in com­plex­ion.

How­ever, Nkosi says she’s been re­ceiv­ing mar­riage pro­pos­als from men on Face­book and Twit­ter. “I al­ways say yes to their re­quests,” she laughs. She’s also had some very fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ences with fans re­cently.

“This other time, I landed in Dur­ban and this guy who works at the air­port told me ev­ery­thing about me and fam­ily. And he told me God has showed him that I must be his wife,” she said.

“A few days later, I bumped into him at church in Richards Bay. He came to my car knock­ing at my door. He scared me, it was the weird­est thing that has ever hap­pened [to me].”

Nkosi is very dif­fer­ent from the young woman from Richards Bay she was, who came on to the scene three years ago at the Isi­baya me­dia launch, with corn rows and no make-up.

Now she’s Mzansi’s It girl, sport­ing wigs, grac­ing mag­a­zine cov­ers, at­tend­ing A-list par­ties, and win­ning the Favourite Ac­tress gong at this year’s YOU Spec­tac­u­lar.

“I didn’t ex­pect to see Isi­baya blow­ing up the way it did in such a short space of time,” she says.

Al­though she’s grate­ful for the se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity that work­ing on a soapie pro­vides, her dream is to be on the big screen and to prove her act­ing ver­sa­til­ity.

Last month she was re­vealed as OPW’s new host and she says her fans will get a bet­ter idea of who she is. “Fi­nally! I’m open­ing up; this is the real me,” she en­thuses.

Nkosi has stood in on oc­ca­sion for for­mer OPW host Them­bisa Mdoda, and ad­mits the show has had its chal­lenges, for she re­ally wants the brides to look their very best.

“How would one start to tell a bride that her dress is ugly on a show that is watched by a mil­lions of peo­ple? What do I say when a bride is show­ing me her wed­ding gown and to­mor­row it’s the wed­ding. I can’t dis­cour­age her at the eleventh hour,” she says.

“It’s so hard to crit­i­cise the dress, be­cause the bride has al­ready made a de­ci­sion and, un­for­tu­nately, I can’t change it even if I wanted to. But with makeup I go in, be­cause that we can change.”

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