Upcoming vibrant actress Thobeka Ndwandwe hails from the small town of eMandeni. Growing up, she was always passionate about art and had an opportunity of seeing lot of things in life and that is where she says her passion for the arts stems from.
Demotivated by the stereotype and rumours that you have to sleep your way to the top, her parents were sceptical about supporting her pursue her dreams and advised her to steer into another direction. This is where she lost the passion for the arts but a few years later and she has scored herself an appearance on tv’s popular show, Durban Gen and a lead supporting role in Harken Lalela – 1976 The Musical.
Studying at Ikabawo Performing Arts Academy, she says that this school instilled discipline in her. “My school has shaped me into this person that I am today. I feel like in order for you to go far in art you have to be disciplined and Ikabawo taught me so much of that. Art requires respect, discipline and knowing what you want are the most important character traits of an artist.”
Initially Thobeka went into acting just to prove a point that she can do it without sleeping her way to the top, but now she has grown to love her craft and is what they refer to as a triple threat. “I can sing, I can dance, and I can act” she boasts. Her presence was felt the very first time she set foot at the Academy: “I remember some of my colleagues telling me much later that when they first saw me, they saw their biggest competition,” but it was not in her plans to complete with anyone, with her it was just about fulfilment. “I was just happy that I found my purpose, I found myself.”
When she worked on the Harken Lalela - 1976 The Musical, Thobeka got to rub shoulders with the likes of the talented Mam' Baby Cele, Melusi Yeni, Thandeka Zulu and Noxy Mabika. “It was so surreal and there was so much pressure on my side to do my ultimate best.” She says that she felt so much love and support from these professionals, they gave her so much advise not only career-wise but even on how to handle her finances. “I felt fortunate to be with people who have been in the industry for such a long time.”
In parting, she says that as a girl who once went to bed without eating, she wishes to reach out to other young girls and inspire them that life is much bigger than the squatter camps that they live in. “I am living proof that the universe listens to our wishes and one day, you will be just that.”