Tumi Ngumla is one of South African actors who rose to fame by being voted for as the best couple alongside Abdul Khoza on the Grand Finale episode of Class Act Season 2 in 2011, since then Tumi’s career flourished. Six years in the industry is not a child’s play; she opens up about how her journey has been and the difficulties she is currently facing.
IN LOVE AND HAPPY
Like everyone else Tumi says she struggled to master the art of dating but now she has and is happy. “For some time I couldn’t differentiate between a look when someone was staring at me and when I and a guy had a moment; now I have, I am dating and happy.”
Tumi is off market, she speaks so highly of her partner and how supportive he is of her work. As many men would get worked up by her sexy scenes, her beau is definitely not the jealous type. “He is so liberal, we sit down and scrutinize those scenes and how I should have done them, that’s how amazing he is,” says Tumi while laughing.
Since a very young age Tumi always wanted to become an actress and she always wanted to be noticed. “Since I was a little girl, I saw myself as an actress. I was one of those girls who had to have characters that stood out in high school. I couldn’t be a tree, I had to be a witch or Snow white. I had to be noticed.” says Tumi
Despite all the hunger and love for art her parents did not support that dream because they were afraid of what the media would to do her. “After grade 11 I badly wanted to peruse my dream and my parents were not surprised as they knew the amount of love I had for acting but they didn’t like the idea. I wouldn’t blame them though, seeing the way the industry is and what it can do to a person I myself wouldn’t support that,” says Tumi.
DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL AND AUDITIONING FOR CLASS ACT
The born and bred Port St. Johns natural beauty says she was a lost soul when it had to come to studies.” “I never loved what I was doing at school, I had to drop out. After high school I took a gap year then I studied advertising then after two years I dropped out, and studies marketing and I hated it.” “I had already given up on my dream of becoming an actress when I auditioned for class act; funny enough that day I accompanied my friend to audition and he put my name on the list without me knowing. As I was waiting outside, a lady came out and called my name. As hesitant as I was, my friend told me something I am still holding onto even today. He said Tumi the worst thing the can say is no…and the rest is history,” says Tumi.
CHALLENGES OF THE INDUSTRY
Tumi finds the industry as a very cruel place at times, she says most people want to change who you are and become someone else. “I have been told over and over that if I want to be relevant and get more gigs I need a scandal so that the media can write more about me. And sometimes you are told you cannot get a particular role even if you perfected the audition because of the number followers you have on twitter or Instagram. I am still working on this social media thing,” says Tumi. “I was raised by a Christian family, a very strict father with tough love so we missed out on a lot of concert with my sisters because they were at night. But one thing my father taught us was prayer and respect and all the time during my auditions I remember his teachings.”