A Legacy In The Making
True Love|September 2020
Not only does she radiate beauty, confidence and grace, but Nomzamo Mbatha couples that with intelligence, sensitivity and resilience, too. This multifaceted actress is a self-made modern woman who always stays true to her roots…
Pumza Nohashe

It was on 12 March 2013 when I first came across the young, dimpled beauty named Nomzamo Mbathaduring the launch of popular telenovela, Isibaya. She looked naïve and almost out of depth – she was about to be thrust into the limelight at the tender age of 22. It was her smile that caught my eye. I remember telling some of the Mansi Magic managers on that day that I had just witnessed the birth of a star. Coincidentally, that star has followed her throughout her life.

MY GUIDING LIGHT

“I have always attracted neighbours and strangers alike who would randomly say: ‘iNkosi ikubeke ngane yami’ (God bless you, my child). I remember this one time while walking from the bus stop to school, and an old coloured lady stopped me and said: ‘My child I don’t know you, but something just told me to share with you that you are going to be something important. I may never see you again, but I will pray for you.’ These incidences have always made me aware that there’s a higher power walking with me, watching over me and protecting me. But, the one thing I knew I needed to lean on mostly was intuition and discernment as those two elements are key to living a full and authentic life from within. Over the years, I have come to protect my light; learnt to live in it with grace, and not be overt about basking in it. Yes, it is good to let it shine because I, too, have been inspired by others in how they live within their spiritual light,” Nomzamo shares.

MY SIBLINGS; MY LOVES

Having travelled around the globe with Nomzamo, what has constantly stood out is her ease when relating to older women. So much so that they naturally gravitate towards her, instantly nurturing and protecting her. Because of this, she has formed an army of “big sisters” so wide it spans from KwaMashu to Newyork city.

“I guess I must have been born an old soul, also helped along by having two older sisters Matu (who passed away when I was 18) and Wendy. My cousin brother Mzwandile was always present, too. These three took me under their wings. Matu was my style queen; an elegant lady who took meticulous care of her body and presentation. On the other hand, Wendy was a tomboy who imparted her street-smart personality into me. Both their characters balanced me out. Their common trait was that they took no nonsense from anyone, and always pushed me to be assertive at a young age. Then there’s Mzwandile, who truly honours his role of loving, caring for, respecting and protecting me. He takes it so seriously to always watch over me, seeing himself somewhat as a dad. My brother Siboniso, who is the kindest and most gentlest soul, is my soft landing spot. Me gravitating towards older people, or vice versa, stems from the fact that I had never really had one primary caregiver. I’ve always had people showing up for me, and that’s why I show up for people. It has always taken a village to make things happen for me, especially after my dad’s passing. I still have his friends rally around me to ensure that I don’t go without. It’s the testament of how he was to people, and how he was with me,” the talented star shares.

DEALING WITH LOSS, ANDGOINGBACKTOSCHOOL

On 18 August 2015, an industry friend asked if I could meet with Nomzamo. He believed in her potential, and saw me a great fit to help harness that talent. Within hours of that conversation, I was seated across her – now, a more confident and assertive young woman. She was very clear that she wanted to be on the world’s stage in Hollywood. But, her first task was to go back to the University of Cape Town and complete her BCom Accounting Degree, which she was one course shy of. And, in 2017, she did just that.

“I went to varsity three years after losing my father; I had just started to come to grips with my loss. Then during my first year, Matu passed away. In second year, my grandmother also passed on. By the time I made it to third year, I was emotionally depleted by these losses of the people closest to me. Very anxious, I knew that I needed to make it work. But, at the same time, I recognised a deep yearning for change. Later that year, a friend, Sanda, convinced me to enter the MTV Base VJ Search and I did, jokingly – I surprisingly made it to Top 3. I didn’t get the opportunity, but I trusted God that something would turn up. Within no time, I was packing up to move to Johannesburg to start my journey as Thandeka on Isibaya. I initially viewed this role as a temporary means to make quick money. I would then go back to varsity to complete my outstanding course, graduate and work as an accountant to make big monies! But, acting was no way to make enough money to take care of my family, I thought. The bug, however, had caught me,” she recalls how she eventually broke into the acting scene. Since then, Nomzamo has gathered a lot of achievements under her belt.

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