Sophie Ndaba back on set and behind the scenes

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The 48-year-old has rebuilt herself and bounced back as the alluring Shanice Moore on the new SABC1 13-part drama series Family Secrets.
The 48-year-old has rebuilt herself and bounced back as the alluring Shanice Moore on the new SABC1 13-part drama series Family Secrets.


The past two years have been a roller coaster ride for actress Sophie Ndaba, who has had to deal with rumours that she had died, a fight against diabetes and losing her businesses, which led to her falling into depression.

She felt like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and recalls those days as some of her darkest. But she had to remain strong and put on a brave face publicly because she did not want people to feel pity for her.

“It was the toughest two years of my life and, in the process, I lost myself. I would wake up in the morning and my whole body would be numb and aching. I had to witness people whom I thought were my friends mocking me behind my back, while others were trying to destroy my marriage. I’ve seen my own kids also going through depression; I’ve put them through a lot,” shares an emotional Ndaba during a telephonic interview with City Press.

But the 48-year-old has rebuilt herself and bounced back, and is once more gracing our TV screens, this time as the alluring Shanice Moore on the new SABC1 13-part drama series Family Secrets, which airs on Sundays at 7.30pm.

She is also working behind the camera as an associate producer.

“The SABC has been my home for more than 21 years and I am glad to be back at the place that shaped my acting career. It has always been my dream to work behind the scenes, and this happened at the right time,” says an excited Ndaba.

She says that what attracted her to Family Secrets is that it is an authentic South African story that needs to be told.

It hasn’t been an easy journey; it took us five years to do research, get it right and get to where we are today.
Sophie Ndaba

Her role as an associate producer involves working with the producer and putting the show together, and also understanding the look and feel of the show.

“I am looking forward to growing with the show and taking it to greater heights,” she said.

Family Secrets revolves around the notorious, rich and powerful banker Caesar Mokwena, who owns a merchant bank but suffers a horrible twist of fate after he is involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident and absconds with the child of the couple he believes he killed on the eve of the grand opening of his bank.

He and his wife decide to raise the child as their own. However, 20 years later, he discovers that the boy’s mother survived the accident and is relentlessly seeking justice. Mokwena and his family are bound together by incredible wealth and a terrible secret that, if revealed, could destroy them.

The drama series stars A-list actors including Katlego Danke, Sonia Sedibe, Vusi Kunene, Menzi Ngubane and Mangaliso Ngema.

However, it seems that the drama has broken the fourth wall as angry tweeps have called for Ngema to be removed from the show owing to sexual harassment allegations against him.

Read: ‘I'm innocent’ – Mangaliso Ngema speaks out on sexual harassment allegations

Although the show’s first episode was viewed by more than 2.7 million people, it received backlash after some of the actors claimed that they were not paid for their services.

Family Secrets is produced by Pulane Shomang and Bongani Sibeko.

Shomang, from content catalogue SA Woman In Television Arts, explained that Ngema was hired before the controversy and said that the series had not had any sexual harassment incidents reported against the actor Ngema.

She said Family Secrets was originally meant to be aired on a local video-on-demand platform that was later shut down due to unforeseen circumstances.

“At the time, we had already filmed this premium show’s few episodes and, because we believed we had a great product, we chose the SABC as our new home because the deal made sense to us.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey; it took us five years to do research, get it right and get to where we are today,” Ndaba says.

She adds that every actor was paid for services rendered on the show. However, she wouldn’t divulge more, saying the matter was with the lawyers.

“The Sibekos came to my house two years ago. They shared their concept with me and asked me to recommend a cast that would fit well with Family Secrets. I recommended 80% of the cast you see on the show. I told them they needed to cast actors who were experienced and talented,” Ndaba says, adding that issues will always exist between actors and executive producers, but they should be resolved amicably.

“This year, I am going to make tough decisions for the sake of my peace and sanity,” she resolutely says.


Ntombizodwa Makhoba 


+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
2022 Fifa Qatar World Cup
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
As the country marked Fraud Awareness Week from November 13 to 19 ahead of Black Friday, the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service has warned people about the risk of fraud on social media. What measures have you taken against fraud if you'll shop online?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nothing, I will shop in-store
56% - 41 votes
I have done my homework and will shop on trusted sites
36% - 26 votes
Not much. I'll get the best deals online and hope for the best
8% - 6 votes