She’s the Queen!

Nardus nel
Sophie Ndaba grew up in Soweto and established herself as a sought-after model in South Africa before getting into acting. These days she’s a household name, having played gossip-loving receptionist Queen Moroka in Generations for the past 15 years. Tvplus chatted to her to find out more about life out of the public eye.

Who is Sophie Ndaba at home?
I must admit, I’m so boring! People tend to think I am as glamorous and shallow as Queen can be at times. I love my DVDs, hot baths, cooking, and changing how my house looks inside from time to time. The girl inside of me also loves to go shopping. I don’t do it as much as I used to, because I only go shopping when I want to look fabulous.

Tell us about your family.
I have three children: Shallon (21), whom I adopted from my late sister Tiny Mphasane, Rudo (19), who’s at university now, and Lwandle (9).

Being a mother . . .
Is an amazing honour. God allows us to be parents to these special beings with such amazing responsibility. It’s never easy being a parent, but when one decides to have children, you have to raise them to the best of your ability, and I feel I’ve done that. I love them so much.

What have you learnt from playing Queen?
If you really look at Queen, beyond the gossiping and extravagant person she can be, she’s an amazing person with an amazing heart. I’m a very shy person and naturally would never have had the confidence that Queen possesses. I’ve played many other characters on TV, but her energy has rubbed off on me and also helped me grow as a woman.

What do you do for fun?
I’m a Christian woman who loves God, and I spend Sundays going to church. I do not do anything in my life without Him. People tend to think I’m stuck-up, but I love spending time with friends and family, be it at braais or going out for dinners. I love to meet new people who can hopefully add value to my life.

You’re also an event planner. How did this come about?
I’ve been doing it for over 12 years now. I have a company and we refurbish homes or decide how to give homes a new feel – whether it’s before or after a client’s home is built. We take on every aspect including the furniture, designing everything inside the house and giving the house a glamorous feel. We’re doing things that are changing people’s lives.

What else do you do outside of Generations?
I’ve started working on my foundation, The Sophie Foundation of Hope, which helps anybody in need. Being in the public eye, I’m always asked to attend charity events, and I love supporting  worthy causes. But I decided to work with my own vision to help others. As a role model, I need to give back in my own way, especially since I can relate to people who are underprivileged.

I grew up in an orphanage and in foster homes as a child. My foundation helps out when there’s a need. For example, when kids go to school barefoot, we could donate 100 pairs of shoes. Just recently we donated computers to a school, and I was thrilled that we could put smiles on the faces of school children. Another part of my foundation is the Wheelchair of Hope initiative, where companies donate money so we can provide wheelchairs for children.

What can we expect from you in 2010?
I’m growing my personal brand. I’ll be launching a beauty range and a bridal range early next year, under my Sophla brand. It will have some exciting wedding dresses and wedding designs that women will love. All my projects are exciting for me, as I’m doing things that women will appreciate.

What’s your beauty routine?
I like to keep it simple with my beauty products, because I use a lot of make-up at work. I always start with make-up remover, cleansing gel, exfoliation gel and a spray toner. I love using Nivea and Johnson & Johnson products. I like to buy products that are affordable and work for me.

What’s been your weirdest fan encounter?
It happens when the fans look at you, stare, and don’t say a word when they approach you. They’re always more excited to see “Queen” in person, but don’t know how to approach me, and expect me to be as funny as Queen is. I’ve learnt that when I am in public, I’ve got to deal with anything that comes my way, and it’s always nice to meet fans in person. My fans relate to me as Queen. I could have no make-up on when I’m out, and they still notice me, so it seems she has a lot of power – much more than Sophie does (laughs).

Describe your fashion style.
I’m very simple. When I’m at home you’ll find me wearing tracksuits and casual clothes. But every so often, Queen tends to rub off on me, especially when I go out at night, and I dress up and wear fabulous clothes.

Who is your best friend?
S’thandiwe Kgoroge, who played Zinzi and Zoleka in Generations, and I are very close. We’ve been friends since working on Generations together, and our children have been close friends since the age of three. They went to the same pre-school and primary school and we often find ourselves shopping, hosting dinners and going to church together. At work I’m close to Connie Ferguson (Karabo). She’s been like a sister to me for 15 years. She has such a special place in my heart. 

My most embarrassing moment was . . .
When I was 16 or 17 and a model still living in Soweto with no car nor much money. Models back then wore wigs to show off different looks, and one day I got into a taxi and my wig got stuck in the door and came off my head. The people inside the taxi were shocked and didn’t say a word. I ended up quickly grabbing my wig, putting it back on my head and just keeping quiet!

Describe your ideal man . . .
He must be someone who loves God and life. He must be willing to give of himself and his time to me, my family and others out there. We live once and we are all destined to be happy. I can’t have someone who is going to hold me back in life.

We've been watching Sophie in action since the beginning of Generations. Share some of your favourite Queen moments with us in the comment box below.

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