The law of the jungle in which survival of the fittest is the order of the day, is one such old saying that can best describe renowned actress Brenda Ngxoli’s aptitude who is where she is today out of hard work and strong determination.
As she looks forward to her 40th birthday she is taking away all stops, making sure that she enjoys her time, forget about her nomination for an award, she regularly visits her rural home in Xolobe Village, Tsomo in the Eastern Cape where she enjoys feeding her animals.
The actress, who is not new to being in the limelight, values her place so much such that seven years ago she had to relocate leaving behind all the hustles of city life.
“From the age of 21, I have been shoved in the spotlight, that has been kind of difficult. In this industry at that age, it is either you grow up too fast or find yourself living according to what might be thought to be okay by others. I think for the first time I really just want to feel like I am just living. I just want to live and be happy,” she said.
FINDING HER MAGIC
Eight years ago, she defied all odds ignoring the advice from her friends not to relocate to her rural home. Now she is in the city again, Brenda is geared for the new life, feeling all the confidence as if she never left.
She is unpredictable, especially to those who do not know her well. All the news that she was now a spent force has been proven not to be true. She is just as strong and confident as before. “Leaving was all about being able to really take care of myself,” she said.
The year 2020 is a different year for her altogether, it is a new season for new beginnings and is prepared for that. She has just put behind her all the emotional and sexual abuse she suffered in the entertainment industry few years ago and now starting everything on a clean slate.
The seasoned actress was once fondled by a female colleague and had two other men behave inappropriately on a TV set, but all are things of the past. She is now happy to be back where she belongs and looking forward to the prospects.
As before, she is not in the mood of trying to impress people, nor is she going to look down upon herself.
“The biggest ‘aha! moment’ is that the biggest commodity I have is myself. The person inside, the creation, everything that is life is right here with me. There is nothing outside that can fulfill me,” she said.
Brenda is in touch with her spiritual side and once opened up that in order for her to maintain her spiritual health, she had to leave the Johannesburg city life and go back to the Eastern Cape.
Her time in the village helped her to heal from the past unpleasant encounters and to get in touch with her inner self by taking a break from TV. The actress is back in the city and she’s also back on TV. She’s now on 1Magic’s The River.
Her ancestral calling came in 2015, and she accepted it without shame. “If you are unable to listen to the messages that come to you in a truthful manner then everything else is not going to work,” she said.
BACK IN JOZI FOR GOOD
Commenting on her return to the city Brenda had the following to say:
“I thought I would shoot for one day and do a lot of scenes because I was thinking about my animals. But I can safely say, I am back. Now I visit my animals instead. In an industry where there is so much negativity it is important to mention when you are treated well. I am so proud to be part of a well-oiled machine and to be working with the amazing cast I work with.”
She is now back in the fold after she joined The River playing the troublesome Dambisa, a script too good to decline. The show has won 15 nominations at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas).
“There are a lot of ‘entitlement’ behaviors in society that have become a norm. We see it in our communities, it is all about wanting this and that now otherwise things will be burnt down. Dambisa has been doing it for so long that she doesn’t see herself and she doesn’t care. It has really been a nice character I could explore all these tragic flaws with,” she said.
Brenda was well received in the industry and has been getting positive feedback too. “Others come to you disclosing, others come to you sharing that they are going through the same thing. Another time you might meet a Dambisa. I hope through this character people are able to make the necessary behavioral changes,” she said.
Brenda's acting prowess was also recognised at this year’s Saftas for the best supporting actress category for her role on Mzansi Magic’s Ithemba. The River star, who just made her big TV comeback earlier this year, believes in herself and in that when she was motivated she was able to be the best.
“It was great to be acknowledged when I changed gears in terms of the character I played. A lot of characters I have been playing are loud and intense. Nomonde is dignified from how she speaks and how she carries herself. I am nominated alongside Lorcia Cooper and Pamela Nomvete, I mean, that is big,” Brenda said. “This is my seventh or eighth Safta nomination. I am humbled beyond belief.”
He is happy to be back and grateful for the reception too:
“I am blessed that SA didn’t forget me. The biggest celebration for me is to be able to come back with a voice and a body that is still of professional standards. I can’t be coming back and have people asking, what happened to her?” she said.
She learnt self love and it is now paying off for her.
“When you are younger you have a concept of being humbled and grateful and all those things they tell you but when you get to a certain age it is either things click, or they don’t. That is where I am,” Brenda said.
“We sometimes sabotage ourselves. I understand now that I am responsible and accountable for the situations I find myself in. This time around things are different,” she added.
Announcing her comeback, Brenda took to Instagram the other day saying she was happy to be on the screens once again and expressed her gratitude to the producers who saw her shine and allowed her to be the best actress she can be.
"Far too often than not, it is easier to complain than to be grateful. At times it's easier to run to social media when things are actually not that bad. To shout at the top of our lungs when producers of colour do us wrong," she said then.