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#Umlilo: @Liam_JV interviews #Umlilo actress, @NomzamoMbatha

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Umlilo and Isibaya actress and Holiday Swop presenter, Nomzamo Mbatha

Liam Joyce caught up with Umlilo and Isibiya actress and Holiday Swop presenter, Nomzamo Mbatha, in between her busy schedule.

Nomzamo shot to fame with a role on Isibaya in 2013, playing Thandeka Zungu. She then took a break from the show last year and after shooting a film, now she is back with two new shows: Holiday Swop on SABC 1 and Umlilo on e.TV.  She has also re-prised her role on Isibaya

So how busy are you these days? 
Its crazy, I wish I could give my life to someone else right now just so they can handle everything that's going on, hahah. I am buy with a lot but I am making it all work and I am grateful that I am busy with so much. 
You are straddling three shows on three different channels, which isn't always easy. Have the channels relaxed a bit about their talent being seen n other channels?
You know its my case I really just think its blessing from God. Channels are very territorial but I let my work speak for itself and I am very humbled that three different channels think I am good enough for all of them. 
We predicted earlier this year that you are one of the people to watch in the industry this year and we were proven right. Has your success surprised you?
Yes I saw that piece and I loved it thank you so much for that. It absolutely has because it all happened so fast and I didn't have time to take it all in. I would have liked it to take off gradually but hey I am not complaining.
The first time we spoke to you was when you were vying for an MTV VJ job. You didn't win. But did that in a way, set the chain in motion of what your career is like now? Multidimensional?
Oh yes! Tim Horwood (Creative Director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa) saw something in me and although I did not win I really feel that that is where I was discovered. It was my moment and it definitely set everything in motion. 
You've just been nominated for your second award at the Royalty Soapie Awards. Does it affirm you as an actress?
It always feels good to get a nomination and I am very happy about being nominated again this year and that in itself is good for me because it tells me that I am doing a good job and I am among the best. It also does validate me as an actress but I always say that the only validation you need is from yourself.
Okay so you've got a major role in e.tv's Umlilo- tell us about your character
She is spicy! Hahaha….she's a great character to play because she is a double edged sword. She is a good person and very caring but she is very manipulative and will do anything to get what she wants and does not let anyone stand in her way. 
Is she a gold digger or not?
Not at all, she does not need any man for money 
Is she the side chick who wants to be the main chick?
You know she is about to become the third wife of a man who already has two wives but she isn't fighting for his attention or for the main spot. 
You've been lucky that you have worked with some of the countires greats in all your shows- has it improved your acting skills?
Absolutely! The people I have worked with and currently work with are amazing, I really have learnt a lot. I like being intimidated on set because it burns the fire within me to always do my best. 
Biggest thing you have learnt? And advice?
I have learnt not to take myself too seriously, when you because too mindful of things and even the character you are planning you forget to have fun. I think its important for everyone to just enjoy their ride, whatever it is.
Returning to Isibaya after leaving last year- why now?
I got a call from the producers and they asked me to return. I then asked myself if I had had enough growth since leaving them a year ago and I have had a few projects since Isibaya so I yes. I also felt a little guilty for leaving, especially towards the viewers because the storyline was left in the air. 
So we last saw Thandeka leaving with Sbu. Where does the story pick up?
Thandeka returns home and she is still married to Sbu but he does not return with her until later. She is very confused by what is happening in her home and she tries to figure out why it resembles a war zone
Will there always be a loyalty to Isibaya, after all it was where you got your big break from?
Oh yes always because it was my big break.
Holiday Swop- Is it a fun show?
It's incredible! I mean I could have shot the show for five more months if I had to because it was a lot of fun. I learnt so much about KZN and I think the viewers are also going to learn a thing or two. 
KZN is beautiful and I'm sure you saw some really great places. What's the most amazing place you went to that you hadn't been. And why?
There were many places that stood out but I really loved Oribi Gorge and Nkandla, not the presidents home though. (Laughs) Nkandla is beautiful, the scenery is amazing and its natural beauty really is one of a kind, I would like to film a move there one day. 
What's the funniest thing that happened to you while shooting the show?
Oh my goodness there was a challenge where the contestants had to handle bull frogs and snakes and I am so afraid of both, my director kept asking me to stand next to the snake and frogs while recording and I just could not. 
What are your thoughts on South African TV at the moment?
I think its doing really well, there are new shows and new content which is really important. There's lots of new talent and I think we are pushing the envelop with unique story-lines and of course there is job creation.

Catch Nomzamo Mbatha as Khwezi on e.tv's Umlilo tonight at 9pm.

*This article originally appeared on the 01 March 2015 issue of the Sunday Tribune SM Magazine* 

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