The ability to deliver a convincing theatrical performance is nothing to scoff at. Actors must display the gift to bring characters to life with such an exceptional flair that viewers will be found yelling, crying, and shaking at their screens.
The 5 actresses vying for the top honour at this year’s DStvMVCAs have each delivered stellar performances that Mzansi has not stopped talking about.
Deli Malinga, Sannah Mcunu, Shoki Mmola, Thembi Seete and Zikhona Sodlaka owned this era, blew up the trends and took their craft to the next level this past year. Here’s how their outstanding performances earned them spots as Mzansi’s faves.
Malinga’s supreme encounter with destiny happened as soon as she was cast as the villainous MaMzobe on the popular Mzansi Magic drama series ‘Umkhokha’. Although she’s not new to a mass audience, having debuted years ago as Khaphela’s wife on Generations, her lead performance on ‘Umkhokha’ has been lauded by both critics and audiences.
MaMzobe, a matriarch who plays a central role in disrupting older family dynamics to take over forcefully, is loved and hated for how ruthless she is. It’s how the character’s complex layers unravel, making her both feared and at once relatable. That is what Malinga has done!
Sannah Mcunu’s evolution on Gomora, Mzansi Magic’s highly praised telenovela, has been amazing to experience. Zodwa is able to express vulnerability, breaking down all her defense mechanisms to reveal layers to her soul.
This is precisely the reason she’s able to get viewers on her side, whether she’s navigating her journey to sobriety, finding ways to heal from Don’s hellish shenanigans, or just finding her way through life. When you find Gomora trending, which is every other day, you will realize Zodwa had a hilarious moment that took everyone out. Sannah’s comic timing remains undefeated.
Few actors have had the magical experience of being able to turn a TV character into something much bigger; a cultural mainstay that leaves beyond the show itself. Mmola boasts this rare distinction, having given us Rachel Kunutu on Skeem Saam. She’s done it with the same power to hook the audience that she has displayed as Tumi on Muvhango, and amongst a long list of characters, Patricia on Rhythm City. Whatever character she gets, Mmola makes it her mission to shine and excel. It shows!
Seete’s transition from music to acting is one of the biggest success stories in South African television. Having already topped the charts and moved the culture as a member of the legendary 1990s Kwaito group Boom Shaka, her move to the screen became a massive topic.
Although she has already built a sprawling filmography through several popular roles on such shows as Yizo Yizo, Zone 14, and many other primetime shows, Gomora has marked her biggest triumph.
There she plays Gladys, a social worker and doting wife who puts on a good fight to uplift her community while fighting for her marriage with absolute fierceness. And one thing about Thembi Seete, she will keep you glued to your screens.
Sodlaka has morphed in and out of characters that couldn’t be further in personality from each other. Think back through her roles over the years, and how she’s carried villains, as well as she, did virtuous characters. Her talent has been seen through a vast catalogue of roles on top local shows, a list that boasts of Igazi, Housekeepers, Generations, Grassroots, and many others.