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Nqobile Sipamla's love for acting sparked by producer mom

Actor says being on DiepCity is like coming back home

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Nqobile Sipamla talks about her character as detective Nandi Bhengu on DiepCity.
Nqobile Sipamla talks about her character as detective Nandi Bhengu on DiepCity.
Image: Supplied.

Since she was six years old, multifaceted actor Nqobile Sipamla was fascinated by the archived production material her mother Sibongile Labase used to bring home from work.

Her mother’s influence as a producer for various productions at the SABC in the 1990s sparked her love for acting.

Sipamla’s exposure to archived material actors used on-screen not only fuelled her love for telling black stories as a child, but it brought a more positive light and craftsmanship to SA productions.

She has recently assumed her position as a detective on Mzansi Magic’s gut-wrenching telenovela, DiepCity.  

Sowetan caught up with the actor who is known for roles in Abo Mzala, MTV Shuga and Imbewu.

How did it feel making your debut on DiepCity as detective Nandi Bhengu earlier this week?

It was quite exciting… it felt like coming back home. My first TV debut was with Black Brain as Thuli on Abo Mzala. So, back then in 2008, it was like Mandla N was taking a bet on me, now it feels like a full-circle moment.

I got to see familiar faces I knew from years back. There are people who’ve grown from their different disciplines and positions, which is so heartwarming to witness.

Image: Supplied.

How did you prep for the role?

I literally work out and run for fun, so building a tough exterior for the role wasn’t challenging for me. Another thing, exercising helps me to stay mentally fit for the character. I also watched a lot of cop movies and series on how other cops act out their roles.

How would you describe detective Bhengu?

She’s a no-nonsense, calculated, tough yet hot chick. She’s kind, believes in the underdog. She's also all about finding the truth in the most integral way possible.

Do you have any reservations about playing a detective?

I am a playful person and I certainly have my quirks but... previously playing a villain to now channelling a no-nonsense woman, I find it easy to bring the heat when on set. So, as much as it’s a different role, I know I will be able to bring it and fans will definitely love that.

What was the highlight of your career?  

I don't have a specific moment but I enjoy every milestone that I take when it comes to my career.

What lessons have you learnt as an actor?

The art of make-believe plays an integral part in people’s lives, hence it’s very vital to ensure we tell stories as authentic as possible. Treating a role with integrity is one I always strive to project in every role I take up.  

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