THERE is nothing more beautiful than when people follow their hearts and pursue
their passions. Actress Thishiwe Ziqubu (31), who is known for her role as the conniving Nox on e.tv’s soapie drama, Rhythm City, says acting came naturally to her.
Thishiwe grew up at Ezakheni township near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, but later moved to Newcastle, where her parents ran their businesses. She started writing stories from a very young age and this is when she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“As a child, I loved to read and I started writing stories in my teens. I always knew I wanted to tell stories,” says Thishiwe. “I was raised by my parents who worked hard, made their own money and were self-employed. They had shops and restaurants in the township. It was not easy for them because they had no formal training but they learned through trial and error. They are my greatest inspiration because they are proof that you can rise above your circumstances.”
Thishiwe says her big break came in 2010 when film director, Akin Omotoso, gave her, her first major role in his movie, Man on Ground. She says the movie opened doors for her in ways she had never imagined. “It literally changed my life. I had never acted before, but I landed a major role in a film that travelled extensively internationally,” explains the actress. “I had known Akin as a writer and he believed in me and offered me the role without going through an audition. I was so honoured. I learnt so much from the experienced actors I worked with in the movie. The film opened so many doors for me. I actually landed a role in the BET series, Book of Negroes, after a Canadian director saw me in Man on Ground at the Toronto International Film Festival. I also got to travel and see the world as we toured movie festivals in countries such as Berlin and Dubai. It was just a beautiful rollercoaster ride that changed my life for the best.”
IN A STORM
Recently Thishiwe grabbed headlines when she and fellow actress Mandisa Nduna shared a nude picture of themselves on Instagram. The post was later reported to the social platform as pornographic and it was taken off the site. Thishiwe and Mandisa didn’t take it well so they posted a short video addressing the matter. “So apparently some of y’all had problems with the beautiful‚ tasteful‚ nude art that we posted on Insta. And some of y’all felt it is right to report and say that that was some sort of pornographic material. So we feel that y’all need to read a book‚ watch some films‚ and go to an art gallery‚”
Thishiwe said in the video. “But to the more than 500 people who liked it, we appreciate you for appreciating our art,” added Mandisa.
Thishiwe says she wants to remain an actress all her life like the likes of Meryl Streep and Al Pacino, but she also has other plans. Her dream is to establish herself as an international A-list actress and producer. “I want to excel as an international A-list
actress, writing, directing and producing brilliant, moving and successful feature films,” says the single mom of a nine-year-old girl.