Isibaya fans warm up to Zakithi
Actress Michelle Mosalakae set tongues wagging with her "shocking" debut as the mysterious traditional healer Zakithi on Isibaya early this year, but fast-forward months later, viewers have embraced her and her role.
Mosalakae admits it was initially difficult for people to accept her character and the fact that she proudly represents people with albinism on TV.
"I know that at first the followers of Isibaya responded with shock to my character, questions were asked, like 'who's this, where's she from?'," said Mosalakae.
"But eventually they fell in love with me, as Zakithi. They show me love and smiles wherever I go..."
Mosalakae, 23, from Mabopane, north of Pretoria, has taken to her maiden TV acting role like a duck to water. To crown it all, she is armed with an honours degree in drama, specialising in acting, directing and applied theatre.
"I spent more than three months on set after the auditions just familiarising myself with the cast before the actual shooting of my scenes started. I'm enjoying the role but most of all I'm learning."
She is rubbing shoulders with heavyweights such as Jessica Nkosi, Nomzamo Mbatha, Pallance Dladla, Thembi Nyandeni and S'dumo Mtshali in the star-studded cast.
One aspect of being on Isibaya is that the exposure has opened doors for her. "Unlike before, the industry is opening up to fresh, new talent and new faces.
"The beauty of the industry is that you can do so many things at the same time. There are different ways to tell stories. Besides being on dramas, I can do directing, I can do theatre because I did a lot of stage work while at Rhodes University."
Last year, Mosalakae enlisted with an agency. "I went to a number of auditions. That's how I was called and cast for the Isibaya role. But being the entertainer that I am, the auditions never stop," she said.