Actress Brenda Mhlongo (40) has stepped into the role of KaMadonsela in e.tv drama Imbewu: The Seed after actress Fundiswa Zwane recently left the show. Brenda tells Move! how anxious and excited she is to step into the role.
“I am so anxious to see how it is received, I hope the audience will allow me to be creative and express the character the way I would like and not the way it has been done,” she says. Fundiswa left the production after two years on the show. Although she’s anxious about stepping into the character, Brenda promises to be true to her and honest about how she immerses herself in the story.
Apart from the adjustment on set, Brenda has had to adapt to a new way of doing things yet again. In the past she’s often found herself away from home and family. For more than six years she lived overseas and pursued her love of theatre with the cast of The Lion King before coming back home.
While she was working on the telenovela The Queen, she spent most of her time in Johannesburg but went home to be with family when she wasn’t on set. “I am closer to home. I sleep at home and I get to spend time with my husband and children,” she says.
This is a first for the mother of three daughters. Before her role as Zodwa – a controlling and overbearing character in The Queen that viewers loved to hate – she was in soapie Generations: The Legacy as Mam’ Nandi, which also required her to be away from her family. But this time around she’s close to home as Imbewu is shot in her home province – and she’s ecstatic.
With the role of KaMadonsela, Brenda is playing a woman in her fifties who is rooted in culture and tradition. She has made a lot of sacrifices in her life for her family. But her husband loves his sister-in-law and there’s nothing KaMadonsela can do about it.
She is her family’s pillar but is not exempt from the day-to-day struggles and pressures women go through. With all the roles she has played, Brenda has observed that women often suffer in silence and carry great burdens.
“We are going through so much. I wish we could hold one another’s hands. Whether it is at home or at work, no one is taking care of us. I wish we could hold one another, be kind wherever we are and in any situation. Hug, love and embrace one another.”