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Celeste much more than a pretty face

Actress Celeste Khumalo stars in 'The Queen'.
Actress Celeste Khumalo stars in 'The Queen'.

Actress Celeste Khumalo's The Queen comeback has been nothing short of explosive and viewers are in for even more tantalising treats.

After almost a year being off screen, the 25-year-old starlet is back to wreak havoc on the Mzansi Magic telenovela as Shaka's (Sthembiso "SK" Khoza) devious baby mama Linda.

Fans of the show have already witnessed Linda shake up Shaka's world with the introduction of her new man Miguel (Wilson Shaddai). But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Next week the courtship will heat up as Linda gets what she has always wanted and Shaka puts a ring on it.

Khumalo promises viewers a roller coaster quickie wedding full of romance, drama and suspense.

"I think it's one of those weddings that you never get to see on TV. It's explosive and jam-packed. Every lead actor on the show is going to be involved with all their different personalities in the same room," she teases.

"I like seeing all my heroes in one room and doing what they do best and learning from them."

The statuesque former Miss SA Teen, with her glowing complexion and come-hither gaze, says she's nothing like her conniving on-screen persona.

Happily in a relationship, Khumalo says that when she decides to settle down she will opt for a more cosy and simple nuptial. In fact, when asked by Time Out if she would ever consider an over-the-top shindig like Linda's, her reply is a big fat "hell no".

"While filming I remember just saying to SK that weddings are so much work," she recalls.

Linda and Shaka on their roller coaster wedding day in the soapie 'The Queen'.
Linda and Shaka on their roller coaster wedding day in the soapie 'The Queen'.

"I'm very happy in my relationship. It's not someone in the entertainment industry. He's from Swaziland. If we decide to settle down I want a wedding that is nothing like this because there is way too much drama.

"I'd rather not have a wedding than have Linda's wedding day. For me, getting married goes beyond the white dress."

The Queen is Khumalo's break-out acting gig. She has been taking acting lessons to better her craft. As a model, the Sandton stunner has scored an ambassadorship with skin care brand Pond's. Her 21-year-old younger sister Kutloano Khumalo is also a successful model.

"This is the career path that I've chosen. There is a film I'll be doing next year," she adds.

Khumalo recently closed her popular beauty salon Republic Nails in Hatfield, Pretoria, to focus all her energy on an acting career.

"My focus was changing and I felt like the business had served its time. I just wanted a change. It's very easy for anyone to say I'm an entrepreneur, but business is really hard," she confesses.

At age 18 in 2011, the It-Girl got her first taste of stardom after she was crowned Miss Teen SA - the last one to reign under the title. She obtained a BA in Corporate Communication at Varsity College in 2015. She is busy with her MBA at Regenesys Business School.

"Miss Teen was a very interesting life. I only entered to get the bursary," she points out.

"Education is something that nobody will ever take away from you. After your looks have faded as a model, a powerful and educated mind will stay with you.

"The biggest misconception about me is that I'm just pretty. I'm more than just a pretty face.

"I will always be Miss SA Teen, that's certainly not going to change.

"But I'm happy that at this stage in my life people are also recognising me as an actress compared to being a former beauty queen."

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