Nambitha Ben-Mazwi talks about her new role on Scandal!

2019-01-31 15:19
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Local actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwi recently announced that she’s joining the cast of’s soapie Scandal!, and is excited to make a massive switch from playing a bold attorney on the SABC1 drama series Diamond City to the sultry and scandalous Chardonay aka Shado. 

“Shado is the epitome of sexiness with an aura of elegance,” the actress said in an Instagram post.

DRUM caught up with the 30-year-old TV star to find out more about what her new role and being in the industry means to her.

“The role was a morally challenging at first, but I found purpose in telling Shado’s story authentically, so I can open eyes of those caught in this situation – to see themselves and hopefully see their worth beyond their current circumstances,” she said.

“Playing this ruthless character who manipulates and runs a secret gentlemen’s club has truly opened my eyes to the human element of those who find themselves in ‘sex trade’ or ‘working girls’’ environment.

“I made sure I brought out her insecurities and layers as everyone has a story to tell, and I hope it captivates those who feel ‘trapped’ in such a lifestyle and have become numb towards it.”

Even though she holds a business science honours degree from the University of Cape Town, Nambitha knew from the tender age of three that she wants to be a star on stage.

“I grew up very much replicating that through my involvement in the arts but never took it seriously – it was a hobby. As the years progressed and my smarts and grades showcased me as a straight-A student, I was naturally driven towards commerce. 

“I am a nerd at heart and a true strategist, so that will never change. But, I got to a point where I wasn’t fulfilled in corporate and knew that this was not how I was going to change the world. So I left everything, and found myself back in the arms of the arts as a performer. I cannot not acknowledge my late uncle, Tony award-winning veteran Winston Ntshona, as my greatest influence in this move.”

So what are some of the challenges she’s faced in the industry?

“I’ve realised I’ve been quite blessed after hearing my fellow industry peers’ challenges in this industry as I have not experienced the hardships I have seen and heard. That’s not to say I don’t have my personal challenges. I think my perspective towards the challenges has allowed me to over-ride them and see them as opportunities and fuel."

“The usual challenges, like the financial protection and rights of an actor in SA, is nowhere near what it should be as far as international industry standards. Being paid your worth is also a challenge, which has given me the opportunity to pursue producing and other forms of business in this industry. The cattiness and sabotage of insecure colleagues exists in all industries – there are politics everywhere,” she tells us. 

But that’s not all.

“My dark skin tone for roles might have been seen as a challenge, but I’ve treated that as my key differentiator or ‘magic’ as I like to call it, and have successfully been able to change the minds of casting directors for roles that were meant for ‘fairer’ skin,” she admits.

Viola Davis is one of her favourite actresses – Nambitha loves her work and looks up to her. Quite frankly, we totally understand why. But she also looks up to her late uncle, Winston.

“I have to be biased but also honest, he remains magic and I have learnt so much from him just by being in his presence.”

With this new role Nambitha hopes to hone her skills. 

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