SHE IS CHARISMATIC
IN BETWEEN shooting scenes on Isidingo, where she plays Nina Zamdela, actress, choreographer and fly fitness advocate, Khabonina Qubeka took some time out to speak to me.
“I had to wear all these gold rings like my daddy,” she laughed when she later told me about her bold character. When it’s a new character, you have to create back stories behind the story you’ve been given. “So I had to think about where Nina had been all these years and why she wore all that jewellery.”
Today though, she’s wearing a beautiful black jumpsuit with lace sleeves and a plunging neckline. The limber lady sits in almost a lotus position on the couch and I am reminded to actually hit the gym in the evening instead of just saying I will. But first congratulations are in order. Dora’s Peace is a 2016 film in which Qubeka stars in the lead role. It is now headed to the Orlando Film Festival in the US. The film is about a prostitute who journeys through selfdiscovery by protecting a boy from the Hillbrow underworld. Dora’s Peace is a polarising film. “It’s moving quietly,” Qubeka almost whispers. “I am very proud. We told such a real story that it’s going to get timeless appreciation and love from all over. Not just America. People in Nigeria and Cameroon will appreciate it because of how real it is. “It’s a story that could have been set anywhere in the world. It didn’t need to be about a woman in Hillbrow. It could have been about a woman in Brazil. That’s why people feel they can connect to Dora. It makes you ask yourself questions and answer truthfully. I don’t think South Africans are ready for that. But the film is a catalyst.”
Qubeka has acted on Uzalo, The Wild and of course, Muvhango but I ask the artist how the acting bug bit. “I always say if you grew up elokshin (in the township) then you grew up acting,” she laughs.
“When we were kids, we would make up stories by drawing them in books and telling a whole tale.
“We were animated. We played house – and I used to like playing the dad. I think that’s how acting came into my life. But even now, I can never choose one thing.
“With every project I do, my focus is always on that. When I’m acting, that’s the only thing that matters to me. When I’m on stage dancing, I don’t even know you.
“When I studied dance, I studied the shamans and how they go into a trance when they dance and that makes sense to me because when I dance, I am someone else. Everything is about