Enhle Maphumulo happy to play the bad girl on The Herd
Leading lady Enhle Mbali Maphumulo is ready to wreak havoc with her TV comeback in the second season of hit drama The Herd.
She commands attention when she struts into the room full of A-listers with her Manolo Blahnik pumps and exudes sheer confidence. At 31, Enhle says she's comfortable in her skin, less apologetic about her success and has learned the power of "no".
"The beginning of my career was tough because I was so timid. I was scared of people and having an opinion," she shares as we sit down for a chat.
"The hardest time for me was when I was working at Channel O. There were a lot of things that I felt were not good enough, but I let it slide. That's why my career stayed stagnant."
After being off the small screen for a year, Enhle captured the country's attention as the new vixen in town when Mzansi Magic's The Herd returned on Sunday.
She plays the mysterious Ayanda on the malevolent witchcraft show.
"She's one of those people that you can't predict. You don't know if she's good or bad. She is going to be very dramatic," she teases.
"When she wants something she wants it. People don't realise the danger behind her. Don't mess with her. She's extreme and you can't calculate her."
After playing a number of sweet roles throughout her colourful career, the latest being Azania on Broken Vows, Enhle is excited to finally play a bad girl.
"When I get dirty characters that's when I get excited. I think that's why my relationship with Broken Vows didn't work out. It was too safe.
"Coming back to the screen I could tell how hungry I was. I'm there every single day. I'm enjoying the set, energy and people watching me on screen. The reception this week alone has been overwhelming. I was watching through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook ... people were into it and that excites me. I trended."
Although she took a break to focus on her fashion business for the most part, she admits the cancellation of telenovela Broken Vows affected her too.
"I let myself down there. I gave up. By giving up on the character I didn't give my best. It was like, 'let me say my lines and move on...' "
Enhle got her groove back after being cast in award-winning short film Lace last October. She just won her first international award for her role in the sci-fi picture co-starring Richard Lukunku and produced by actor Neo Ntlatleng.
She won best actress last month at the Filmapalooza International Film Festival in Orlando, Florida.
"It taps me on the shoulder. It says you are doing the right thing. You are going in the right direction and just keep working hard you'll get there.
"Like any artist before a project, you give the best of yourself and you always worry that your best is not where people want it to be.
"I still have an acting tutor that coaches me through everything. I'm always trying to up my level because the ultimate goal is an Oscar."
The mother of two boys shares that the key to balancing her busy career and motherhood is getting help.
"It's hard. But it's very important that you make enough money to hire in people to help you. Kids can travel with you and I have that luxury, I work hard to have that happen to me."
Enhle says the secret to the success of her much-publicised marriage to international house music maestro DJ Black Coffee has been to keep it out of the public as much as possible.