7 quick questions with Nambitha Ben-Mazwi
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi (Photo: Instagram)
Cape Town - South African actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwiv talks about preparing for her role in the movie, Madiba, alongside Laurence Fishburne.
"Lady Nam" as she's known within the industry, described her character, Nandi, as her "most profound role to date". We caught up with the 27-year-old talented actress and found out more about this exciting announcement!
1. What was it like shooting Madiba, alongside Mark Elderkin, Laurence Fishburne, David Harewood and Orlando Jones?
I worked closely with Laurence Fishburne and Orlando Jones. It isn't difficult to be charmed by them both, but what I particularly loved was how real, open and honest our conversations were, on and off set. Having lived in NYC, we immediately had that bond as they felt I understood them and the straight up forwardness that New Yorkers have.
We connected on a artist level, a human level and we often engaged in dinner party talks where we all learnt from each other.
2. What can we expect from your character?
I play a small, yet one of my most profound roles to date - an 18 year old girl called Nandi. Her story plays true to many everyday stories that women faced during the apartheid era. She is in love with her fiancé, Welcome, a man caught between a rock and a hard place seeking the law expertise from Orlando Tambo and Nelson Mandela. She later goes through a traumatic experience alongside Nelson Mandela that tests a very raw, dark and emotional place for me as an actor.
3. How do you relate your own life to that of your character?
I don't! ha ha. She is 18, is engaged and carries burdens and life problems I can't even fathom to understand. But as an actor, I have to tap into my own life, past and research into the life Nandi had. I used my own pain, my families apartheid stories and went into a method actors process in order to relate to Nandi and carry her burdens, fears, dreams, past and day to day thoughts.
4. Would you describe this as your most in-depth character to date, which truly tested your acting skills the most?
No doubt! Acting on Black Mirror as an American was a challenge, but slipping into accents and dialects is a different challenge. Taking on raw emotions is by far more in-depth.
5. Why is this series important to you as an actress?
It tells our story. As Africans, as South Africans, it shows the world where we come from, it shows the unsung heroes and shows the everyday story of the regular South African that was living and being affected by the apartheid regime. It's also therapy, for us as actors and for us as South Africans. It's never easy reliving a painful past, but sometimes it is necessary to help remind us of where we have come from and how far we have grown.
6. What important message can you take out of the series that you want the viewers to embrace?
Our pain, our past does not define us. We have a choice in life, always, and it is up to us what choice we make in moving forward and leaving a legacy for the future.
7. When will the series be released and where can we catch it?
No release date has been confirmed as yet.