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Zenande Mfenyana on her new role as Nono and her growth as an actor

Mfenyana is billing the role as a total departure from the characters that have made her a household name

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Zenande Mfenyana opens up about her new role as Nolwazi “Nono” Mathebula on Mother of All.
Zenande Mfenyana opens up about her new role as Nolwazi “Nono” Mathebula on Mother of All.
Image: Supplied.

With more than a decade in acting and memorable roles in Generations and The Queen, Zenande Mfenyana is grateful to still be at the forefront of storytelling.

Mfenyana will next slip into character as Nolwazi “Nono” Mathebula on the new action-packed drama, Mother of All, premiering tonight on e.tv’s eVod platform.  

Mfenyana is billing the role as a total departure from the characters that have made her a household name.

“I was stunned when I was briefed on what playing Nono would entail,” said Mfenyana.

“One thing I can reveal is, I did all the stunts myself. I went through weeks of martial arts training to perfectly do justice to Nono’s storyline. As a fast learner, it was easy for me to adapt to the type of training required for this role and I really hope viewers love her.”

The crime drama is premised around a mother’s love that knows no bounds, whereas a daughter’s love does. The supporting cast includes Buyile Mdladla, Cabangile Gumede, Six Nyamane, Bridget Masinga and Thandeka Qwabe.  

“We started shooting the show three days after I got the role. I had to fly my helper, daughter and myself to Durban to be on set,” she said.

“I had zero time to prepare but luckily being a trained artist, I just knew what I had to do when I immediately got on set since we were only given three months to finish shooting the first season.”

Two roles turned the 38-year-old actor into one of the most recognisable faces on local television – Noluntu Memela on Generations and Goodness Mabuza in The Queen. She’s also featured on high-profile productions which include Ashes to Ashes and 1802: Love Defies Time.

“People still remember Noluntu and Goodness... they actually still call me by these names to this day. I am truly grateful to still be a working actress in this tough industry,” she said. 

“I am also grateful to the Fergusons. They played a bigger part in who I am as an actress. They have been following my career from the time I was shooting Generations many years ago. I remember Aus’ Connie coming on set and I’d watch her with admiration and I’d tell her, ‘One day, I'm going to work with you’, and I did. Acting on The Queen was such a wonderful time of my acting career.”

Nyamane joins Mfenyana in the show, playing Noks. The fresh-faced talent is known for her roles in Scandal!, Rhythm City and Blessers.

Noks is a beautiful, fun, bubbly and adventurous girl. She fits in with the young and old, said Nyamane.

The most challenging part about this role was the amount of physical fitness required. Ive also never shown this much of my body on screen before as much as I did with this character. Embodying Noks pushed me to the limit more than I expected.

The mood on set was so much fun. As much as wed be tired on most days, we were always energetic. We were always playing with each other... we just became a family who was working in sync.

Six Nyamane.
Six Nyamane.
Image: Supplied.

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