TELEVISION actress Brenda Bongiwe Ngxoli is an ambitious woman with a mission.

She possesses the rich tradition of an isiXhosa woman's imaginative and creative thinking. Ngxoli, who hails from Tsomo in the Eastern Cape, is best known for her role as Vuyo in the SABC1 drama series Home Affairs.

She has the talent and passion for acting and the charisma that has landed her incredible roles. Ngxoli is an outspoken person. More than that she knows her story. Her brilliance at her craft shines through in every role she portrays.

Since her debut on the small screen in 2004 as Mimi in Tsha Tsha, Ngxoli has grown as an actor. Though she has not acted in many television shows, she has had an amazing effect in the few she has done.

Her current role in Home Affairs on Thursdays has shown that she is not an average actor. Ngxoli has married the character she portrays as Vuyo and made it hers.

She admits that Vuyo's character was difficult and she had to do a lot of hard work on it.

"Vuyo's character is very complex, emotional and physically driven because it involves sport," she said.

Vuyo is a young girl from a poor family who was raised by a an alcoholic mother.

Ngxoli said what she liked about the character was that it evolved and gave people hope about life.

"I like the character because it is growing. Vuyo has come a long way from being gang-raped and many bad things happened to her. However, she chose sport as a way of elevating herself and escaping her miserable home life."

Asked if there was anything special she does to master the role, Ngxoli said: "When you study drama you are taught a lot of things and methods that could work for you as an actor.

"It is the knowledge that I got from school that makes me understand any role."

However, Ngxoli acknowledged that the most difficult part in imitating Vuyo was the "boyish walk" that she had to adopt.

"I did a lot of serious hard work, practising at home how she talks and walks. It was quite a challenge because I do not walk that way as Brenda."

Though she has done justice to the character they do not have anything in common. But she said she admired Vuyo's determination.

For her sterling work in Home Affairs, Ngxoli was nominated for an International Emmy award in 2007.

She also appears on M-Net's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in which she playsFlorence Pheko, a housekeeper who spends all her time causing trouble instead of working.

The impressive line-up includes American actress Gill Scot, Desmond Dube, John Kani, Kenneth Nkosi, among others.

Ngxoli started her acting career on stage, doing plays such as Pick Ups directed by Chris Weare, Docs Wife, Sacred Thorn and Yes Medem. On television she has done Molo Fish 2, Interrogation Room and Tsha Tsha.

She made her directing debut in 2004 when she directed Through Thick and Thin by Khanyi Magubane at the Market Theatre.

Last year, she was one of the celebrity dancers in the fourth season of the SABC2 reality competition Strictly Come Dancing.