She's always played roles linked to rural wives or being a poor woman. Which is why she was excited when she got the role to play Nonzi on Scandal!
She's a totally different vibe, actress Thandeka Nodada tells us, and she's loving it.
"Because of the way I look, I am always typecast to be a rural wife or a poor wife wearing doeks and aprons. Hey, but Nonzi is different man," she says.
"She used to be a slay queen and a plus size model but now she is older and she is not getting the gigs and the money she is used to."
Thandeka tells says that Nonzi is everything that she is not in her real life.
Oh! she is so bold, sexy and flirtatious. She is also an opportunist and willing to do anything to survive. Even the way she dresses is different from me; she shows a lot of skin. I love her confidence," she says.
Thandeka (38) says she thinks people should stop putting pressure on themselves to achieve things at certain ages, because that is not how life works.
"I think it is horrible what we do to ourselves. I remember waking up crying the day I turned 30 because I felt that I had not achieved what I should have achieved at that age. It was only at about 32 that I said to myself no man this is no way to live, I cannot be controlled by external forces. Now I am living my best life, living for me and I love it. We really need to stop putting this kind on pressure on ourselves, it is unnecessary."
She is also enjoying playing a thick woman who is in love with her body and owning it.
"I have never been a thin girl, but I have not always been confident in my own skin. Representation matters and I love playing someone that girls and young women can look at and start loving their own bodies. Beauty is not just one thing that can be contained in just one box, it is not just thin and light skinned and this character is all about representation for me. Another thing I love about this character is that they did not typecast me because of the shape of my body. Young people need to see people that look like them, dark, with bums being in high powered positions or showing confidence."
This is especially important for her as a mother. She and her husband have three kids aged 21, 14 and 5.
She is not just an actor but does a lot of work behind the scenes.
"Our industry can be unpredictable for actors so when you do not see me on your screens, know that I am doing something behind the scenes. I love acting because you get to step into the shoes of another and walk their journey, and when done authentically and truthfully, it can be beautiful to watch. I am a casting director and I also produce. Currently, I have a show on Netflix called Uncovered, produced through my company called The Final Chapter."
She is still going to be on Scandal! for a while and says viewers can look forward to a lot of drama.
"Things are still going to get interesting hey. There is even a love triangle on the cards, viewers should stay tuned."
Asked if she has even been in a love triangle, she laughs and says "oh no, I am happily married. I keep things neat and tidy, there is none of that here."
Playing Nonzi has also helped Thandeka to remember to take care of herself too.
"Often when women get married, they forget to take care of themselves, not because they do not care about their images, but because they have other responsibilities like running the home and raising a family. But it is important to take care of yourself too. Another thing is that we get comfortable with our husbands as our friends and sometimes forget to look attractive, you'll find a person getting up wearing leggings and an oversized ANC t-shirt and that's not right.
"I have decided to go back to the gym so that I can be healthy and feel good about myself. I have no ambitions to be a size 32, I love my curves. I just want to be a comfortable and healthy 36, she laughs.