What’s going on in your favourite actress’s head?
Thuthuka Mthembu has been a hit since she arrived on screen as Uzalo’s (2015- current, see p14) Nonka in December 2018. It’s the 20-year- old’s first- ever TV role but you’d never know because she is killing it in SA’s biggest soapie, whether she is selling veggies or launching a local revolution. But, of course, this isn’t her first brush with television – she has been on our side of the screen forever! We had questions…
What was the first TV show you acted out with friends?
It must have been the original Generations (1994-2014). There was always someone wanting to be Karabo (Connie Ferguson) and someone wanting to be Queen (Sophie Ndaba) or Ntombi (Sonia Sedibe). I wanted to be Karabo.
Who was your first TV crush? Oh my gosh! This is so many years ago. My real-real crush was an SABC1 presenter on YO.TV – the Battle Stations host Kabelo “KB” Moreni. He was really cool.
What did you do when an adult moment came on while you were watching TV with family?
I would just quickly look away or get up off the couch to have a glass of water. Then when you’re older, the second you show any kind of interest like your heart rate changes or your breathing, you look guilty. You must sit and act normal.
What product have you wanted ever since you saw it on TV?
It was probably the Baby Born doll (Thuthuka starts singing the advertisement jingle): “Baaaby Born, Ba-by Born!”
Whose TV wardrobe do you want? Bonang Matheba on her reality series Being Bonang (2017- current). She was so cool. She still is, of course. She’s so fly. She is That Girl, so…
Whose TV house would you love to live in?
You’ve seen Trevor Noah’s house, right? The $20 million (R288 million) mansion in Bel Air. That would be nice to live in.
What shows are you fanatical about now?
Of course I watch Uzalo every single night. I watch The Queen (2016- current on Mzansi Magic), I am watching Being Bonang. I am watching Big Little Lies (2017, on Showmax), Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017, on Netflix) and Insecure (2016- current) and Grown-ish (2018- current). With Grown-ish, it’s so nice to see young people have their say. We’re kind of a lost generation but shows like Grown-ish prove that we are aware of what’s going on and we’re involved. There isn’t enough room for us to say much or to do much.
If you worked behind the scenes, what job would you want?
I would definitely be directing. I’m doing my third year at varsity, majoring in writing and directing. Working on Uzalo, it’s different. It’s so much a learning experience.
Which character is your favourite hero and why?
Jack in drama show This Is Us (2016- current). It was sad seeing how he died. He was alive, then he was just dead.
What is your nightmare scenario while filming?
Having something fall on me! Like a huge light. These things do happen.
With all the reboots happening, what series would you reboot and be part of?
I would say Generations, but that’s had enough make-overs. I think Scandal! (2005- current) because I really enjoy it; it just needs a bit of a kick.
If you could play any character on any show, who would it be?
I would love to be a new character on Grown-ish, a fresh African face. That’s my dream – I’m putting it out there!
What show and episode made you cry most recently?
Filming Nonka makes me cry every day. It gets a bit emotional. Let’s say The Queen’s storyline with Goodness Mabuza (Zenande Mfenyana), her being raped by her boyfriend and having to tell her mom at the end of January. This is such a reality, when consent isn’t given, it’s not okay, regardless of your capacity in the relationship – whether it’s your boyfriend, your husband, whatever. It’s a very difficult thing to get around. It’s a reality for a lot of people in South Africa. It was really emotional to watch. What show made you want to be an actor? I don’t know how to answer this because I never thought I’d be an actor! I didn’t think I could do that. I used to pretend I was a presenter when I was a child. And if you could change one thing about Nonka… She is a well-rounded, generous person. She has forgiven her aunt, she shows love instead of hate. She is brave. I wouldn’t change anything! She can stand up for the things that she does.