Chit Chat: Tumie Ngumla

2011-07-29 16:03

She beat thousands of women during auditions to secure the role of a lifetime. Tumie Ngumla (24) from the Eastern Cape town Port St Johns took the title of first female winner of SABC1’s reality show Class Act.

Congrats on winning! How do you feel about being the first female to win Class Act?
I’m ecstatic. It still hasn’t dawned on me yet, but I’m totally excited about the win.

What are you going to do to ­ensure you don’t fade away from the spotlight?
My first point of reference is that I intend making the most of the time that we will spend in New York honing our craft.

Once I am back in South Africa, together with Moonyeenn Lee of MLA, my new agent, I intend auditioning for roles and keeping myself out there.

I think it’s important to keep my wits about me and keep focused on becoming the best actress I possibly can be. To do this takes hard work and I’m not scared of that.

What made you realise acting was your destiny?
There was no eureka moment. I’ve always wanted to act. The trick was finding the opportunity out there that was able to expose what I have to offer.

Tell us a bit about your acting course in New York?
We will be spending eight weeks at the New York Film Academy ­being taught by the best in the business.

The course has people from all over the world attending, and I look forward to learning not only from the lecturers, directors and producers, but from my fellow students.

The course has proven to be a huge stepping stone. Sdumo Mtshali (Class Act Season 1 winner) proved this, and I am very excited about the prospects.

How are you dealing with your new-found fame?
It’s overwhelming sometimes, but since it has yet to really sink in, I’m just enjoying the recognition that I get everywhere I go. For now, it seems like a dream.

Which South African actor/­actress – dead or alive – has ­inspired you?
Definitely Pamela Nomvete, who portrayed Ntsiki Lukhele in Generations. Her ability to portray the character with passion inspired me. She is able to grab your attention and never lets go. That’s the type of actress I aspire to be.

What secret talents do you have?
If I told you, they would not be secret any more. But seriously, I can sing and write poetry.

When you go to New York, is there anyone significant you’ll be leaving behind?
No. Well, if you consider my family to be significant, then I’ll definitely miss them.

Some roles may require you to change your appearance. What’s the one thing you won’t change?
Acting is a calling. I firmly ­believe that if changing something – like shaving my hair, putting on weight, or plucking my eyebrows – would assist in portraying a ­character properly, then I would do it. I don’t think that would stop me at all.

What is your dream role?
I’ve always wanted to play a ­psychopath, crazy woman. This is a character that I could really get my teeth into and show off my ability.

What do you think about your fellow winner, Abdul?
What can I say, other than that the best man won. It’s so funny that we were both the underdogs, and it’s been a great opportunity. If it wasn’t for Class Act, we would not have been able to showcase our talent. I believe that Abdul will become one of SA’s greatest actors, particularly in the action genre. He is a sweetie, and I look forward to working with him.

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