Nambitha Ben-Mazwi shares what fans can expect in new local Netflix chick flick Happily Ever After

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Nambitha Ben-Mazwi is the latest cast member of Netflix film Happily Ever After and she is excited for viewers to experience her character.
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi is the latest cast member of Netflix film Happily Ever After and she is excited for viewers to experience her character.
Katlego Mokubyane

It tells the story of Black women doing great, everyday things. It follows them as they navigate through careers, friendships and love.

Happily Ever After is the latest South African film on the international streaming service Netflix. It is the much anticipated sequel to Happiness is a Four Letter Word, the 2016 film adaptation of Nozizwe Cynthia Jele's novel. 

South Africans loved the first film and are now hotly anticipating Happily Ever After, which will premiere on 10 November on Netflix.

It features Renate Stuurman, Khnayi Mbau, Richard Lukunku, Xolile Tshabalala, Yonda Thomas, Nandi Nyembe, Loyiso MacDonald and Daniel Etim Effion.

Now award-winning actress Nambith Ben-Mazwi is the latest addition to the cast. 

The Black is King actress spills the beans on what viewers can expect from her character Zimkhitha on Happily Ever After.

Zimkitha is a yoga instructor as well as a successful florist who becomes friends with Princess and Zaza in the film. 

Nambitha tells Drum that it was a pleasure playing a hopeless romantic who no matter what still believes in love and fairy tale endings.

“Zimkhitha is the new friend and she adds a different dynamic to the entire film. She’s also the narrator of the film. We first meet her as a yogi and award-winning florist, she’s very grounded and routed you will see in the way she carries herself that she is a natural beauty who doesn’t like make up much. She’s from the Eastern Cape and she has a past that she is almost running away from and she’s yearning for a fresh start.”

It's refreshing to be part of a film that embraces and celebrates the achievements of black women who don't have to struggle or need a saviour to make ends meet.

“It’s so exciting to see black women portrayed in this light and for the world to also see that we are also striving at what we do. She wears her heart on her sleeve and she believes that love always wins. I love the character because it highlights the life of a black yoga woman which is not highlighted much. I got to have an insight into the yoga industry, it’s the foundation of the three girls’ friendship and it’s a beautiful theme throughout the film.”

Read more | Nambitha Ben-Mazwi on being featured in Black is King: ‘This was an extension of my purpose’

She says that Zimkhitha is different from all the characters she has played. She represents the beauty of dark-skinned women unapologetically and she feels honoured that many women in South Africa see her as an inspiration when it comes embracing their skin.

“She’s self-assured and confident in who she is. She is grounded in her own beauty and in her own dark skin, she barely wears make up, but she can still pull it off. I am an advocate of dark women and born natural beauty. That’s the story I am trying to tell through her. We have so many similarities in terms of her being a hopeless romantic and in her always choosing love. She believes in the best in people.

“As people we start changing ourselves and we start hardening up because of the things that happen to us in life.”

Nambitha wants people to know that mjolo (dating) does not have to be a pandemic if people work on making themselves whole before entering relationships.

“The pandemic has really given us time to reflect and heal and we have been able to look deeper into ourselves. A personal journey I have been on is one of honouring of self before you can honour anyone else, and it’s been beautiful because we cannot pour from an empty cup, particularly in umjolo. You can’t please your partner; you can’t be there for your partner unless you are whole.”

She started an organisation called She Speaks by Lady Nam which encourages young girls and women to find their voices in their careers and personal lives. It touches on topics such as financial management, career guidance, spirituality, healthy and beauty.

She says that she has had many women approach her to thank her for the role she has played in empowering dark-skinned women.

“It’s a purpose for me and it is very important for me, my woman empowerment organisation is now global and its impacting women abroad and I have partnered with Global Citizens as of last year. It started from me being me and a lot of girls started DM’ing me and sharing how I have helped them change the way they look at themselves. It got really deeper the more open I was in interviews and my social media about how I was teased for my dark skin growing up and my grandmother embellished such a high self-esteem into me, and I am lucky to have had that.

“A young girl once told me that I had helped her not commit suicide. If I am able to touch one-person’s life, I feel I have achieved a lot. Even when I go through my own things, I always remember I have a bigger mandate. I burst into tears when I read people’s DM’s because that for me is everything knowing that young girls see themselves in me.”

Nambitha says that she wants people to know they are worthy of their own happily ever after.

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