Chit chat: Hlubi Mboya

2010-07-24 07:33

Actress Hlubi Mboya speaks to 7 about her latest feature film, why she won’t prolong her stay on Isidingo and what it means to be one of the many international faces at the forefront of the 46664 campaign.

When did you realise you wanted to act?
When I was 16 I played Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) in a school play. I knew then that I wanted to be a performer. I
always thought of myself as more of a singer than an actor. But acting is what pays the bills and what I’m passionate about. I’ll just stick to that.

How has your time been on Isidingo?
It has been a fantastic 10 years but I don’t see myself staying on for another 10 years. I love what Isidingo has given me, but I have to grow and evolve. We will have to see what the future holds, hopefully more feature films.

What is the feature film you star in about?
A Small Town Called Descent, directed by Jahmil Qubeka, is my fourth film. It was shot in Somerset East and it focuses on xenophobia, particularly the attacks and ­racial ­issues in South Africa. I’m proud it is ­being showcased at the Durban International Film Festival (July 22 to August 1). We want the world to see African stories. The film also stars Paul Buckby and Vusi Kunene.

What did it feel like to work with a veteran like Vusi Kunene?
I learned a lot from him and the others. It now makes sense to me that they are still in the industry. For me this was more of a mentorship programme than filming.

How was the transition from a soapie to a film?
We are not in a studio and the hours are longer, but it’s the same thing, acting. At the end of it all you have to enjoy the experience. I’m very blessed to have explored a little bit of television, theatre and film.

What is your character about?
Her name is Funeka Yeka, a prostitute surrounded by ­alcoholism. She is dating this Zimbabwean guy. She ends up being labelled a foreigner ­because of her dark skin and gets brutally attacked.

How did you prepare for the role?
It was nothing intense. As ­actors we have to dig deep ­within ourselves to create a character and make it believable. You need to go to a certain place to find that character and sometimes that place is dark, scary, ­sinful and unforgiving but you do it because it’s your job. This role was outside my comfort zone because I spoke hardcore isiXhosa, which is something I rarely do.

What does it mean to be a 46664 ambassador?
It means that I believe in tata Mandela’s legacy of justice and equality. It means that I’m a foot soldier for the underprivileged.

And Mandela day/month?
Every day for me is tata Mandela day and everyone should dedicate some of their time to making the world a better place. I’m involved in a lot of charities. That is my work for life, it is what I enjoy the most.

What is your message to Madiba during his birthday month?
Thank you for giving us back our humanity and dignity. Thank you for giving and leaving us a legacy of hope, faith and love for each other and for you.

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