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Jessica Nkosi explores life away from 'Isibaya'

By Emmanuel Tjiya | 2017-05-19 10:03:08.0

  • Picture credit: Instagram.

  • Jessica Nkosi. Picture credit: RAJESH JANTILAL.

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Isibaya leading lady Jessica Nkosi is taking a break from her much-loved character Qondi on the popular soapie.

The Queen Mother left Bhubesini village last week, without any warning, to go and study overseas. Nkosi opted to stay mum on her departure, fearing she would trigger a panic. She thought that her disappearance from TV screens would go unnoticed.

"I was nervous to announce it because I was afraid that people would be mad at me, so I just left quietly. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but people have been asking what's going on," Nkosi says.

"I needed some time off. I just want fans of the show to be a little understanding and allow me to do this. It's just for a few months.

"As much as you are lucky to be doing a soapie, it's very demanding. That's all you do because you are on a first-call basis. The show is on every day, meaning I have to work Monday to Friday, so I can't explore other work."

If you think that Nkosi will be using her sabbatical to escape the freezing South African winter to soak up the sun on the beach in Ibiza, you are mistaken. She plans to use the hiatus to shake up her career with a couple of exciting gigs already lined up.

For starters, it has just been announced that Nkosi, alongside her Isibaya co-star Nomzamo Mbatha, and "It-Girl" K Naomi, will join Nandi Madida as hosts of season two of BET A-List. Viewers first got a taste of Nkosi's presenting pizzazz during her short-lived stint on Our Perfect Wedding(OPW) last year.

"It hasn't sunk in yet. This is going to be very different from OPW. First of all the show is done in English all the time. People are actually shocked that I can speak English, because I speak strictly Zulu on Isibaya, and I used vernacular on OPW most of the time to connect with the audience," Nkosi points out.

"If you are acting on a TV show, people expect you to be that character in person. It was such a hard shift for some to see me on OPW.

"So this is a way to show that there is a Jessica Nkosi outside of Qondi."

Kwaito music is playing in the background as she fills me in on her busy schedule at the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Joburg.

Rocking a Gert-Johan Coetzee cocktail dress, she suddenly stands up in the middle of our sit-down to break down a few dance moves with fellow Durbanite Madida. Big Nuz's hit number Umlilo is to be blamed.

Music seems to be in her blood, after all Nkosi just added "video vixen" to her colourful résumé after appearing in the music video for rapper AKA's love track Caiphus Song.

She then drops a bombshell that she will be starring in a stage musical soon.

"So I start with rehearsals at the beginning of June. It's a musical. I won't just be acting, I will also be singing.

"I won't tell you more, but in time the organisers will reveal all," Nkosi shares.

"For me I have a theatre background, so I just thought, 'let me go back home and inject back that va va voom for acting'."

Nkosi teases that she will also be shooting a television drama very soon.