Nyalleng Thibedi joins Uzalo

Ashes to Ashes beauty Nyalleng Thibedi. Picture credit: Emmanuel Tjiya.
Ashes to Ashes beauty Nyalleng Thibedi. Picture credit: Emmanuel Tjiya.

Talented actress Nyalleng Thibedi has joined the cast of Uzalo.

The petite beauty from Soweto is the new face of the telenovela and will play Zekhethelo Mhlongo, who is Nkunzi's daughter and Mxolisi's love interest.

Thibedi made a name for herself when she starred as Mpho on e.tv's telenovela Ashes to Ashes when it premiered in 2015.

The actress told Sowetan that it took her three attempts to impress Uzalo producers during her auditions.

"I got a call from the casting coordinator in 2015 to audition for a role, which I didn't get. I got another call again in March 2016 to audition for another role, which I also didn't get.

"In September 2016 I got a call to audition for a part in the Mhlongo family. I got confirmed for the role of Zekhethelo on the third week of December 2016," she said.

Thibedi said she was loving every moment working with the team on the show that is produced by Stained Glass Productions, which is co-owned by President Jacob Zuma's daughter Gugu Zuma.

"We all got a very warm welcome from the executive producers as well as the rest of the leadership and production team. We could not stop talking about how lovely the working environment was," she said.

"What I find most fascinating about Uzalo is that it is a production run by a team of young black people and it is a well-oiled machine that is extremely professional. Having come from a studio environment I enjoy shooting outdoors.

"KwaZulu-Natal is very beautiful. I am excited to be a part of a project that puts it on the map."

Uzalo spokeswoman Koketso Phala said: "Thibedi will start appearing in March. We are excited that a talent of her calibre is joining the Uzalo family. We look forward to working with her on more exciting story lines."

She is not the only new face to join the show in its new extended slot from Monday to Friday this season. Award-winning actor Luthuli Dlamini also joins as advocate Bheki Zulu.

Zulu is introduced as Manzuza's lover to give legal assistance before it emerges that they have a past.

madibogoj@sowetan.co.za

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