CELEB WATCH Iconic star re­mains rel­e­vant

Spot­light con­tin­ues to shine on veteran ac­tress Nomsa Xaba

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Masego Mo­rake


DEC­O­RATED veteran ac­tress Nomsa Xaba has notched up an im­pres­sive 30-plus years in front of the cam­era. She has be­come an en­dur­ing and iconic fig­ure on South African TV. The 67-year-old re­mains rel­e­vant decades after shoot­ing to star­dom in the 80s. She cut her teeth in play­wright Gib­son Kente’s town­ship theatre plays and has had nu­mer­ous awards, rang­ing from the old Artes awards for out­stand­ing roles in Kwakhala Ny­onini and Ifa Lak­waM­thethwa, among oth­ers.

Her tal­ent saw her grac­ing stages at the National Arts Festival in Gra­ham­stown, the Play­house in Dur­ban and the Bax­ter Theatre in Cape Town, at­tract­ing hun­dreds of theatre lovers.


Her high-level act­ing abil­i­ties qual­i­fied her for a wide range of char­ac­ter parts, in­clud­ing mak­ing her pres­ence felt on tele­vi­sion and mod­ern soapies, te­len­ov­e­las and dra­mas such as e.tv’s ru­ral drama The King­dom: Ukhakhayi, the te­len­ov­ela-turned-se­ries Ashes To Ashes and Mzansi Magic’s soapie Isi­baya. Nomsa has en­ter­tained many play­ing odd parts, in­clud­ing of an over­bear­ing and nosy gossip, med­dle­some woman to au­thor­i­tar­ian boss.

Born and bred in Dube, Soweto, Nomsa tells Move! that she knew from her pri­mary school­ing days that she was into per­form­ing arts.

“I used to per­form at school and at church plays. My teach­ers al­ways praised me, say­ing I have raw tal­ent,” she says.

In her early 20s, she started singing, danc­ing and act­ing in Gib­son’s theatre plays and in the 80s she started play­ing at Windy­brow Theatre in Jo­han­nes­burg.


De­spite all her achieve­ments, Nomsa is still sin­gle. The mother of two daugh­ters and six grand­chil­dren says mar­riage was never a pri­or­ity to her.

“I am not mar­ried be­cause my first love and ded­i­ca­tion is to­wards serv­ing the peo­ple,” she says.

She adds that she has a very heavy sched­ule. Nomsa says if she is not shoot­ing for Isi­baya or Isithem­biso, she spends time with her fam­ily, goes to church and reads the Bi­ble.

She says the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try has changed a lot since she en­tered it in the 80s.

“The in­dus­try has grown with lots of young and up and com­ing ac­tors. There are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the in­dus­try to grow and show­case tal­ent than be­fore,” she says.


Nomsa says she’s pleased with the changes that are hap­pen­ing in the show­biz busi­ness.

“There were lim­ited chan­nels and op­por­tu­ni­ties to show­case our tal­ent and there was a lack of pub­lic­ity in the past,” she ex­plains.

She says that she is grateful that she is still rel­e­vant after all these years. She whispers that her se­cret to stay­ing rel­e­vant is giv­ing her ut­most best. “Be­ing hum­ble, fo­cus­ing on my weak­nesses and turn­ing them into my strengths and un­der­stand­ing how the in­dus­try works has helped me. The thing with this in­dus­try is that one minute you might be the most liked and watched per­son on TV, the next you are not rel­e­vant any­more,” she says.

She adds that the painful thing about the act­ing in­dus­try is that there is no con­sis­tency.

“You might have a job for months and then spend months or even years job­less,” she says.

Ac­tress Nomsa Xaba says she knew from an early age that she was set for a ca­reer in the arts

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