Kay Bikitsha's acting dream sparked by Brenda Ngxoli

Rising star groomed at school plays, community theatre

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Kay Bikitsha hopes to become a trailblazing storyteller.
Kay Bikitsha hopes to become a trailblazing storyteller.
Image: Supplied.

Rising star Kay Bikitsha credits seasoned actor Brenda Ngxoli for inspiring her to push boundaries in acting. In the last two years, Bikitsha has appeared in The Queen, Umbuso and now Gqeberha: The Empire. 

Growing up in the Eastern Cape, the 24-year-old starlet worshipped Ngxoli on the small screen and dreamed of being fearless like her in her craft.

Ngxoli became a household name in the 2000s playing Vuyo Radebe in popular drama Home Affairs – a role that got her recognition at the SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas) and International Emmy Awards. 

“As young as I can remember, watching Brenda made me believe that I could pull off a very complex character. She’s not afraid to push the boundaries with her acting and what it takes to live in a character’s head. Young as I was – I knew Brenda was remarkable,” said Bikitsha.

Bikitsha found her love for storytelling and performance in grade 3. She participated in school plays and community theatre, which were funded by her late mother – the first person to believe in her acting. 

“I started my passion for acting when my mother was still alive. She was the one who was pushing it the most. I remember wanting to sign up for ballet, only for the teacher to refuse to let me eat my chocolate. I went home and told my mom, the following day she signed me up for drama classes,” she said. 

“At first I didn’t understand what drama was until I put it up to myself to find out and research how to structure a storyline and formulate a script. In the process, I fell in love with the art of directing.”

Kay Bikitsha hopes to become a trailblazing storyteller.
Kay Bikitsha hopes to become a trailblazing storyteller.
Image: Supplied.

When not focusing on her budding acting career, Bikitsha dedicates much of her time to philanthropy work, especially the development on orphaned children.

“My father passed away when I was five and I was 12 years old when I lost my mother. My aunt and uncles as well as my grandmother played a role in helping to raise my siblings and I,” she said. 

“My grandmother was everything to me when I was growing up, she still is. I remember when she used to sell sweets and I was just three years old, I would always act like I was sulking until she gave in.

“I would always giggle that she fell for my act. I did that until I was 15. I grew fond of the idea of emulating an emotion that convinces people. I think this is where my love of acting began.”

Bikitsha now finds herself sharing the screen with the likes of Mbulelo Grootboom, Zikhona SodlakaZandile Msutwana, Phila MadlingoziAnele Matoti and Akhenime Mfenyana in the Mzansi Magic drama series Gqeberha: The Empire. 

“I was 22 at the time when we started filming. The bio of my character said that Nozuko was 29. I remember asking myself: ‘How am I going to do this? I’ve started calling my older cousins to get references and research because my biggest concern was having to embody the role of an older woman who is in a polygamous marriage,” she said.

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