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Masasa Mbangeni optimistic as she flaunts talent in new film

Actor credits acting classes for her confidence

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Masasa Mbangeni talks about her impeccable journey in the acting industry.
Masasa Mbangeni talks about her impeccable journey in the acting industry.
Image: Supplied

Vastly talented actor Masasa Mbangeni credits her impeccable acting skills to all the speech and drama classes she took as a bright-eyed yet extremely shy eight-year-old. 

Under the guidance of her mother, Nosizakele Mbangeni, the prolific actor crept out of her hard shell by building her confidence at the speech and drama class in primary phase. 

Little did she know she’d find her inner joy, a feeling she describes as “a love affair with acting”, which keeps on fuelling her tenacious spirit as one of the leading actors in the country. 

“My mom’s colleague was doing a speech at work and she stepped up to her asking about speech lessons because my mom could see that I lived in my world, I didn’t talk to anyone and kept to myself. She asked the lady how do I get my daughter to be confident. The lady then suggested speech lessons,” the actor told Sowetan S Mag. 

“[Sometimes] it feels as if the eight-year-old me is following up on her dream to become an actor. I tend to wait on the hard times because I know my passion does pay off and I’d thank myself one day. 

“If I were to hold the younger me, I’d tell her that she’s so brave because everything that moved her was for us. She never gave up to a point where she’d watch in adoration and studied Pamela Nomvete’s acting skill which led into the type of actor I am today which led to the type of actor I am today… so, I’m proud of that eight-year-old me.”

The 37-year-old gained popularity for her breakout role as a cutthroat and very diabolical Thembeka Shezi on e.tv’s legendary drama series Scandal!, earning her a win and two Safta nominations in 2015. 

Masasa Mbangeni.
Masasa Mbangeni.
Image: Supplied

The I Am All Girls actor is also known for her captivating performance on the SABC 2 thriller series Thola, BBC's Silent Witness, and Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort, which is directed by Gideon Raff. 

She is set to showcase her range as Malime Mambi, a hardworking market seller who is a single mother who ultimately falls in love, on Netflix's new thriller film Heart of the Hunter, written by Deon Meyer and Willem Grobler. It will premiere on March 29.

“Of course, I’m a little worried about how people will receive my role in this film. I questioned myself if they would receive me the same as they did on Devil's Peak. I haven’t been on TV in such a long time and seeing that my nerves have been tempered by time based on my experience as an actor and the endearing love I’ve received from my acting, I know people will receive the role of Malime well,” she boldly said. 

“People who have followed my career have seen that I have a deep love for acting… it [acting] brings me so much joy and I know the world can see that.”

Having carved a prolific career that spans across theatre, television and film, Mbangeni admits that imposter syndrome is evident for an actor such as herself but she aims to stay true to who she is despite where the journey takes her. 

“I remember being at a poetry exam and I was so scared I forgot my lines and I ended up getting triple bronze. I went home crying as we were walking because my mom didn’t have a car at the time,” she said.

“I felt like such a profound failure because I got so nervous, but my teacher encouraged me and I went back and fought harder by placing a bet on myself.”

As she continues to live up and take up space on the screens, Mbangeni hopes more black women step out of boxes imposed on them, to find themselves and give off to the world the best that they possess. 

“Water never loses its fundamental quality despite where it is poured, that’s how I plan to move forward. Whether my quantity is put in a bottle or a glass, I will forever sustain my form.” 

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