Uzalo actress fired after falling pregnant
SABC 1’S most-watched drama series Uzalo has fired actress Sphelele Mzimela (pictured), who played Mazaza. The Mandeni — born actress was allegedly shown the door after the show’s producers discovered that she was pregnant.
The role that Mzimela portrayed has since been given to Mpume Ngwenya, who made her debut on the popular weekday telenovela on Wednesday.
Mzimela joined Uzalo last year after she left Mzansi Magic’s
Isibaya, where she was playing the role of Kentucky.
Insiders told Sunday World that the producers of the show became angry at Mazaza for getting pregnant at a crucial time for her character on the show.
“Sphelele made a wrong choice to fall pregnant when her role in the show is big at the moment. It is going to blow people away, the way tables are going to be turned by her in the show,” the source said.
“She was not supposed to fall pregnant, even if she was madly in love or had a stable boyfriend.
“This industry needs you to be calculative when it comes to family planning.”
Some industry observers said they were concerned about how someone can just be fired for being pregnant. Others, however, said this was a cut-throat industry with strange demands on actors.
Another source said: “The signs that Sphelele was pregnant started showing during the shoots. “She would vomit right in the middle of the shoot and that will force the entire cast to start all over again.
“At some stage, she would come to work only to report that she wasn’t feeling well. That will force the cast not to go through with the shoot of her scenes.”
The third source echoed what others were saying: “There was a time when she fainted while shooting her scenes and that was the last straw from the producers, who decided to let her go.
“It is sad because she is very talented, and when she came through, she knew that her role was going to be big.”
Uzalo publicist Nomfundo Zondo said: “The character of Mazaza is an integral part of the captivating Uzalo storyline and remains key in keeping the viewers glued to the screens.
“Unfortunately, Sphelele Mzimela, who played Mazaza, was unable to continue with her role due to her personal ailments.
Uzalo wishes her good health and speedy recovery.”
— Sunday World