CELEB WATCH Iconic star remains relevant
Spotlight continues to shine on veteran actress Nomsa Xaba
MY FIRST LOVE AND DEDICATION IS TOWARDS SERVING THE PEOPLE
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.
GETTING TO KNOW NOMSA
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.
ABOUT THE INDUSTRY
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