ACTRESS Pretty Ncayiyana, who is best known for playing Ayanda on SABC1's youth soapie, Skeem Saam, is excited about being part of e.tv's soapie, Scandal!.
HER UNEXPECTED DEPARTURE
The actress admits that the show has given her the attention of the public and helped to elevate her acting career. She tells Move! she had to leave Skeem Saam because she was there for as long as they needed her. “I love Skeem Saam and enjoyed being part of it. But because it’s not permanent work and you can only be in a show as an actor for as long as they need your character, I had to grab the Scandal! opportunity when I had the chance,” she explains her departure after a little more than a year with Skeem Saam.
PLAYING A MAKHWAPHENI
Even though she was becoming a noticeable face in local showbiz, she had to go for auditions just like everybody else for the role of Phindi on Scandal!. She plays a woman who is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t want and is having an affair with a married man and Pretty says she shares so much with her character. Shocked by the revelation, Move! enquires whether she is someone’s makhwapheni. “I relate to Phindi very much. We share a similar story because just like me, she’s a girl from a small town trying to make her dreams come true in a new environment,” she clarifies. She adds matter of factly that unlike her character, she has never been in love with someone’s boyfriend or a married man.
A VERY SUPPORTIVE MOM
The Port Shepstone-born actress says growing up, she spent a lot of her time travelling around the country with her community theatre group. She says acting has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. In Grade 5, she performed at school and later joined community theatre, where she got her acting training. Even though her mother didn’t quite understand her career choice, she supported her. “I was raised by a single parent who really didn’t understand the acting thing. But she was very supportive and attended all my theatre shows,” she shares.
DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL
Even when Pretty was at a crossroad about which course to pursue in university, her mother never gave her problems. She then decided to do a teaching course at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She says she has a passion for teaching, but it wasn’t long before she succumbed to her acting calling. While she was in Port Shepstone, she heard that Skeem Saam was looking for talent. She packed her bags and headed to Johannesburg, where she auditioned and got the role of the lovable and sweet Ayanda. However, this meant she had to put her studies on hold to pursue acting. Pretty says she does not regret her decision and is now enjoying being part of the Scandal! cast.