AWARD-WINNING actress and now author, Vatiswa Ndara (48), is being modest, when she says there is nothing special about the excellence she radiates on SABC2 soapie, Muvhango. While she makes being scheming and feisty look like such an innate trait, she says her character, Moliehi Zikalala, is nothing like her. Viewers keep witnessing stellar performances with every role she takes on and she just keeps getting better. In an interview with Move!, she talks about working hard, staying focused and grounded and being grateful for where she is in her life.
HER ACTING CAREER
Vatiswa joined Muvhango earlier in the year and her presence is most definitely felt. She took up the role when there were major cast changes on Muvhango. Like a stellar performer that she is, she came in, she ruffled up feathers and added a lot of drama and spice. It’s surprising that she thinks what she does is just ordinary.
“I think I do what everyone else does, take the script and make the best of it. I don’t think I’m doing anything that’s never been done by other actors. It’s all about interpretation of the text and how we bring it to life,” Vatiswa says. When asked about the similarities she has to her character, she jokes, “What’s really amazing is that they have the same body type.” On a serious note, she says both are family oriented and hardworking and that’s as far as it goes. “I love her energy. She’s cheeky, not really scared of anyone, very spicy and she’s daring,” Vatiswa says.
Her impressive résumé does not mean life has been all smooth. The former Metro FM newsreader says, “One has a dream and a goal; an idea of what you’d like their life to be like. But because life throws curve balls, you can never truly expect things to work out as planned.”
Apart from all the challenges that have come her way, she says, “I am grateful for where I am in my career today.”
She says it is simply her commitment to the job that has kept her relevant in the industry.
For many celebrities, fame has had the power to distract them from what is important, but not with Vatiswa.
“For me, it’s about staying focused on the job and as Michelle Obama once said, ‘Block out the negative noise.’”
She admits that it can be hard to do but says it has to be done. “It will give you sanity to focus on the positive,” she says.
She has a deep appreciation for her fans who have always supported her journey in the industry. A year ago, she released her first book titled, I am Because of You.
When she is not on-screen, she spends a lot of time with family, listening to the late American singer, Elvis Presley. Over a year ago, she made a decision to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle. She has since lost a lot of weight and is maintaining it.
“I try to exercise six times a week, as difficult as it is and I drink two litres of water a day, which contributes to one’s health,” she says.
To young people, she says, “Stay true to yourself, be firm in your beliefs and don’t compromise your values just because the majority of people say so. You may be the only one who is right.”