Saturday Star - - SPORT -

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

that mo­ment.”

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