Firm Just Like Zinhle
Mamas&Papas|April 2019

Beautiful, driven, and ambitious are just some of the few words one would use to describe our cover mom, Zinhle Ngwenya. We’ve seen her grow on our screens, and what once was a beautiful girl, is now a fierce contender in the acting industry. We got a chance to talk to the Johannesburg-based actress about her second pregnancy and how the journey has been so far.

Thina Mthembu

What you learn about Zinhle after our candid Q&A, is that she is a strong woman who’s all about loving hard, protecting her family, staying in your lane, and making the world a better place for all. Not only is she an actress, she’s also a businesswoman, who runs an NGO foundation called MZ Ngwenya Foundation. Through her philanthropic projects, she along with her husband, Robert Wenya, reach out to communities to address substance abuse, women and old abuse, and also open up opportunities. Having grown up in a household ran her mother, the iSibaya star recalls how seeing her mother do so much for her brother without a complaint made her the strong, mature, and resilient man we now see before us.

THE INNOCENCE OF CHILDHOOD

Q. WHICH ONE CHILDHOOD MEMORY WOULD YOU LOVE TO RELIVE AND WHY?

I was my mom’s handbag. I went everywhere with my mom. Movies, the mall, weddings, you name it, and I was there with her. That’s a childhood memory that I will always treasure and it’s definitely something I want to share with my daughter. It’s something I grew up with, and I want my daughter to have that too.

Q. DESCRIBE THE TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOUR MOTHER AND HOW IT SHAPED YOUR FUTURE.

My mother and I are like best friends. She is as honest as they come, that’s why I trust her and her trust her opinions. She is like an older sister that I’ve always dreamed of having, however, at the end of the day she’s still my mother so there are boundaries that I don’t cross. We have a very close relationship. My mother is very honest, and that is an attribute I appreciate so much. I just know that she will never lead me astray. Our relationship made me resilient, it made me more mature, it made me wiser, and it also shaped my relationship with God.

Q. IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE A LETTER TO 16 YEARS-OLD ZINHLE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO HER ABOUT LIFE?

I’d tell her that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. Eventually, it works out at the end.

Q. WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN AS A CHILD THAT YOU STILL APPLY TO YOUR DAILY LIFE TODAY?

Respect goes a long way. I’ve learned about keeping your head up high and staying in your lane, and investing in yourself. Most importantly, remember who you are. And that’s just me. Love, unity and family is also important. My father passed on when I was young, and my mother did the greatest things for me and my brother. It’s only now that I really look back and appreciate how far she’s gone for me. My mom was there for everything, and when someone invests so much in you, you know that person loves you. And that’s exactly how I am with my daughter.

LIFE BEHIND THE SCENES

Q. WHAT DROVE YOU TO JOIN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?

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