But before her television fame in 2009, coming third in the competition, Ntuli says she was already selling out shows in her little corner in Durban. “Just like jazz, if you do not follow and consume the art, in your eyes it’ll look like it's dead but those who do understand know where to find it.”
“The growth has been underground with not so many eyes as spectators."
She moved to Joburg in 2012 to pursue the dream and has gone on to cement herself as one of Mzansi’s elite comedians, joining the likes of Kau and Kagiso Lediga.
Since then, the dream has been to build an international brand – a dream she is slowly realising, she said.
“My first international show was in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, where I was doing the Commonwealth Games as the host. I remember meeting the late Bra Hugh [Masekela] there, and the Mahotella Queens, and it was such a grand moment for me. It was in that moment where it sunk in that I am a real artist. I was among the best and that gave me so much assurance,” she says.
Realising that comedy has money, the years that followed meant going the extra mile to carve an actual career and building a sustainable life.
Those years gained her awards and nominations like taking the SA Comics Choice Awards twice, the Mbokodo Award for Best Comedienne and taking home the 2014 Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Soap for her role on Isibaya that she occupied for six years.
But even with so many achievements, Ntuli says she is actively creating a space of not doing anything; finding a healthy balance between work and being one with herself.
She says she is ready to date and love, adding that for the first time in a long time she is opening herself up to it because it won’t infringe on anything else.
“And it is not because I have gotten what I want or reached my ultimate destination. I haven’t. I have just been so exhausted lately and that led me to the realisation that sometimes we work so hard but never take time to enjoy the fruits. I found myself questioning myself and the work that I have been doing lately, ‘What is this all for’?
“I don’t want to hustle and be number one or be on top of any list anymore but I mean, if it happens it happens. I want to live a good life and I am learning to rest. Not that I am stopping work, no but I am prioritising,” she says, adding that having nothing that ties her down like a husband or a child has led her to move even when not necessary.
“Just because I can, only to rest in December. Life carries more meaning when it is balanced and I am striving for that now,” she says.