The other day going through some films in my possession I bumped into Death Race 3.
The first one was made popular by Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson, which was an obvious exploitation of The Transporter and The Fast and the Furious franchises. Fast forwarding Death Race 3 just to gauge if it’s worth a watch, I caught onto a pleasant surprise – our own Hlubi Mboya (pictured) was a prominent cast member.
She has undoubtedly shed her Isidingo character, Nandipha, because even after Death Race 3, she recently made headlines for playing a character called Gugu in Jonathan Marsh’s acclaimed iNumber Number.
As if that’s not enough, Mboya can also be seen in eKasi’s hit drama series, Mzansi Love Stories on a show called Last Resort.
“I play a character called Khanyi. We are in the corporate world and I am a business partner,” said Mboya.
Since the title Mzansi Love Stories suggests these stories are based on relationships, Last Resort has a few storylines that abide by this notion.
Vuyo (Buyile Madladla) is a successful businessman. Sadly, the man is not as successful at home given that he is a widower and doesn’t have time for his children. One of the kids’ aunts, Nomsa (Nozipho Nkelemba ) comes in to help out and realises that the father is not in the least interested in his children.
To add insult to injury, Nomsa has to deal with the new girl on the scene, Khanyi, who seems to be getting Vuyo’s attention.
“It’s a basic story of I want him, the babysitter wants him too and he is confused about what he wants. It has the classical ingredients of a love triangle,” explained Mboya.
With her array of characters from the sweet Nandipha to the gangster girl in iNumber Number, Mboya said playing Khanyi drew out yet another side of her that few of us know.
“It was one of my favourite roles because it is not one of the quintessentially sweet Nandiphas people got to know me as.
“Khanyi is really a ball-buster and I like playing women who are in control and in charge, going after what they want. It is refreshing for me as an actress to also play the villain. It was a great experience,” she said.
Distancing herself from Khanyi, Mboya said that when she portrayed her character she had to do some research outside her comfort zone.
“I want to be able to play with my cast members and that’s what I did. I think the role morphed itself into dimensions I had never imagined. The fact that she is a bad girl made it so appealing to me because she was the total opposite from the sweet Nandipha people got accustomed to,” she said.
She also shed light on how much the role of Khanyi demanded from her, given that it was an experience she rarely comes by.
“I play a supporting role on the show so I wasn’t on set as much as I would have liked. But work is work and I am blessed to work with such a great cast and a great director as well,” said Mboya.
With the genre of local low- budget films seemingly on the rise, Mboya said that it was good for the South African public.
“For me it is not a question of money or how great a production is and how much is spent on the studio, camera and wardrobe. I just want to have a compelling storyline. I want to play a challenging character and work with a great director. So for me I need to get three things – great script, great character and great director. Those are the things I request in any given job. Whether it is a telenovela, a feature film or something on SABC3. I just need those three things to get interested in any job,” she said.
Mzansi Love Stories air every Tuesday at 8.30pm on e.tv’s eKasi.