DURBAN - ACTRESS Gugu Gumede, the daughter of the NFP leader Zanele kaMagwaza Msibi, could not be more different than her character of “MaMlambo” on SABC 1’s most popular TV offering, Uzalo.
While MaMlambo is a controversial character from the township, a staunch Christian and a prophetess and also brings in a bit of humour, the real life Gumede is a well reserved woman, has traces of an America accent in her speech, is a born again Christian and likes to keep her business private.
In 2014, Magwaza-Msibi suffered a stroke, leading to her health deteriorating.
Gumede told Sunday Tribune this week that she desperately sought help everywhere, from doctors, to prophets she said the experience helped her to understand her character as MaMlambo, she was able to portray the character more realistically.
“When my mother got sick, I was in between jobs…. I don’t really like to talk about it. I don’t feel like it is my story to tell. It was difficult, having a sick parent is not easy but my acting couch said life problems are acting problems, having a sick parent or anyone you love, you do things, you go crazy, search for whatever you can that you think may help and having said that when my mom got sick, my family is not umndeni ojwayele izinyanga (not a family that frequents traditional healers), my mom’s battle was a spiritual battle that when I went crazy, I visited places, I went everywhere for help,” she said.
“I went to whoever I thought could help us. For her, it was more of traditional things, that was the first thing we had to do, to fight fire with fire,” said Gumede.
The family feared for the worst, Magwaza-Msibi had a major heart surgery and doctors told the family to say goodbye as there was only 7% chances of her coming out alive and if she did, there was 30% chance of her recovering.
“I don’t feel it was right for me to go there but it helped me also for my character (MaMlambo).
“I am able to make the transition into my character because I have seen these things, its ended up becoming a research for my work, now I know things.
“MaMlambo is a deep-rooted character, going out to look for help for my mother’s condition taught me a lot, as I play this character, its something I am able to delve into.
“I am a born again Christian, I believe God works, God speaks and can heal, I was able to see another side of life where you transform into a spiritual aspect. It happened to us, it happened to my mother, my mom’s story is so big, it so amazing that one day she will be able to tell it and it would shock the nation, it’s a beautiful testimony to see what God can do,” said Gumede.
Uzalo continues to cling the top spot for the most watched show on SABC 1 with 8,42 million viewers.
In the third season, Gumede said her character would be prominent with a romantic story line.
“You know I am always amazed by the positive response from the public, people love MaMlambo, I portray this character in a manner that people relate to.
“Season 3 is very interesting as we would also see ma-Mlambo love life and being happy, it not yet over, People can expect more interesting scenes,” she said.
On her acting, Gumede she was working on another project, but was keeping tight-lipped as the announcements would be made in due course. During last year’s local municipal elections, Gumede read her mother’s speech on her behalf during the NFP’s rally.
Some party members were not happoy about this, but Gumede although she had no position within the party, she had done so as a member of the NFP and would continue to do so as long her mother still needed her assistance.