Zim actress breaks into Nollywood

HARARE - Two years ago Bulawayo-born Samantha Ncube, now based in the United Kingdom, got involved in the acting industry by chance.

Samantha’s cousin recommended her to the director of a Zimbabwean production called Amazansi who later gave her an acting role.

This was the beginning of a colourful career that has seen her make a name for herself on the Nollywood scene.

The Daily News on Sunday (DNS)’s Dakarai Mashava recently spoke to Samantha (SN) about her flourishing acting career. Below are excerpts of the interview:

DNS: Who is Samantha Ncube?

SN: Sammy is a unique lady; a lady of beauty, intelligence and strength. She has a very strong desire to be great and remain great. She is surely going to be a regular feature on the big screen and in glossy lifestyle and arts magazines.

Samantha is a bubbly person who goes out of her way to help others and she is also a God-fearing person.

DNS: When and where did you join the acting industry?

SN: I joined the acting industry in 2012 in the city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom where I am currently based.

I was by chance included in a production called Amazansi, which is a Zimbabwean film by Lawrence Mthinsi, a Zimbabwean lawyer-turned-movie producer.

My role in Mthinsi’s production showed me that I had the potential to be an actress.

Also by chance last year, I met this lovely Nigerian producer/director called Theodora Ibekwe-Oyebade who took me under her wings as a sister and mentor.

She got me several roles in movies that she directed and produced. My success on the Nollywood UK scene later landed me roles in films directed by Nelson Spyk LondoNollywood, the best director and producer in the UK Nollywood.

DNS: How many Nigerian films have you featured in?

SN: I have featured in three Nigerian movies where I rubbed shoulders with some well-known Nollywood actors and actresses.

The movies I acted in are Complicated, Jacuzzi and 1Billion Blaster.

DNS: Which is your biggest film role to date?

SN: My biggest role was in 1Billion Blaster, where I played as a  rich woman who was also a gold digger, Oga Madam as Nigerians would say.

DNS: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

SN: Within the next five years I am very sure I would have become a top-rate producer, director and international actress in Hollywood maybe. I also hope to set up an orphanage and school in Zimbabwe as well as a modelling agency.

DNS: Who is your biggest role model?

SN: I have had many role models in several spheres of life but my biggest role models have always been my beautiful mother and my late grandmother ‘Mamoyo’.

DNS: Are you married? How many children do you have?

SN: I am in a relationship with a lovely and understanding partner. He is also in the public eye, but I can’t say his name or nationality.

We are not yet blessed with children as we are both very traditional. We won’t have any children before marriage.

DNS: Where were you born?

SN: I was born in Bulawayo to a family of three and I am the first born. I hail from a very God-fearing family.

DNS: What is the highest level of education you have attained?

SN: My highest level of education is a BA (honours) degree in Applied Social Studies and that is where my passion for charity comes from.

DNS: Did you under go any acting training?

SN: I didn’t go to any acting school. My cousin Musa James is my ‘school of training’.

She is the one who told Lawrence Mthinsi that I had the potential to be a good actor. I give all the credit to her and I will always remain grateful to her. My good friend Beauty Nkomo and my elder sister, Margaret Dube also gave me a lot of encouragement and advice in the initial stages. They still do.

DNS: Is there a Zimbabwean actor who inspired you growing up?

SN: The one and only Zimbabwean actor who inspired me a lot was Jesesi Mungoshi in her role as Neria in a movie with the same title.

DNS: What schools did you go to?

SN: I went to Donkwe Secondary School in Kezi, Matabeleland South.

DNS: How does Zollywood compare with Nollywood?

SN: For me at the moment Nollywood is a ladder to better opportunities because I get to work with people from diverse cultures.

Our Zimbabwean film industry still needs to improve in a number of areas.

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