Actress takes to political stage

2011-04-16 18:04

Veteran actress and theatre activist Thoko Ntshinga has seen it all in her 35 years on stage, but now she is preparing for her most demanding role yet.

Ntshinga, best known for her roles in soapie Egoli and crime drama Interrogation Room, will be standing as an ANC candidate councillor in Cape Town in the upcoming local government elections.

She will go head to head with the DA’s Brian Watkyns, councillor for ward 53, which incorporates the township of Langa and the suburbs of Pinelands, Thornton and Garden Village.

And 58-year-old Mam’Thoko, as she is fondly known in theatre circles, is confident that the post will be hers.

“I know I have a great chance at this and I know people have confidence in me.

I think this post really needs someone who is driven by community issues and communicating with someone they know and live with and I am that person.”

Ntshinga, who runs the arts group Nants’ingqayi Arts Development in Langa, also holds the post of community development officer in the area.

She received the City Press/Rapport Prestige award for being one of South Africa’s most inspirational women in 2000.

Politics has always been a part of her life.

“I come from an ANC-led home. All we heard at home was ‘Amandla’ as little kids.

I was never one to keep advertising my affiliation but I have always been an ANC member.

I still have the first card that was issued to members,” she says.

Ntshinga believes that the problems faced by the people in ward 53 do not exist in a vacuum, so she plans to get help from people and groups outside her ward.

She is uncertain about whether her acting career will take a back-seat if she is elected.

“I’ll see as soon as I get into office what my workload is like, but the the world of art never leaves you.

Rest assured, I will always be a voice for the arts.”

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