THE ACT OF BETRAYAL: Siyabonga Twala and Zola Nombona are two of the leads in Can Themba’s The Suit, which is directed by James Ngcobo.
At 25, actress Zola Nombona can be proud of her accomplishments on the TV playground.

Having planted her first footprint in SABC1’s second season of Intersexions in 2013, she has gone on to land parts in Single Guys, Single Galz, Z’bondiwe, Sokhulu & Partners, Mzansi Love, Lockdown and Forced Love.

And, last year, the South African Film & Television Awards recognised her for Best Achievement by a Lead Actress in a Made for TV Movie for her role in Ingoma.

Nombona, a dramatic arts alumni of Wits, said: “Theatre was part of my foundation. It’s always been a passion of mine and I’ve grown by performing at graduation parties and in community plays. It’s always been my first love.”

On being cast in The Market Theatre’s staging of Can Themba’s The Suit, she says, “I auditioned like everyone else and, voila, I’m here today.”

Shedding light on her character, she revealed: “I play Matilda. She is a young artist, who gave up her showbiz life to be with Philemon and now she is stuck in a place where she is unhappy. To add spice in her life, she took the infidelity route. She was caught and wants to fix things because of the love she has for her husband and he for her.”

As for sharing the stage with Siyabonga Twala, Nombona said it has been great to be surrounded by professional theatre actors who were willing to take her under their wing and show her the ropes.

“It has been a blessing. I never felt like the new kid on the block because of their support and professionalism. For any young actor to be part of a company of great actors, it’s amazing. And we are all on the same page, working towards the same goal.”

When asked if she was familiar with Can Themba’s short story before production, she said she had read it before.

“I came across it in high school because it’s a nice quick read. But I never thought in my wildest dreams that one day my first professional play, and at the Market Theatre nogal, will be Can’s work The Suit.

On how she feels about working with director James Ngcobo, she gushed: “Amazing! He is a caring man. He saw potential in me that I didn’t see. He is an actor so he understands my side of things. He is energetic; we are always having so much fun that you end up looking forward to come back to work the next day. His passion is contagious.”

As for her costumes, Nombona said she had four “amazing” dresses from the 1950s – the era in which the play was set. One of those would “take audience’s breath away. But they need to come through and see it for themselves”. She added that the set was simplistic yet poetic.

Shedding light on the role that got her the most traction: “It would be Monde on Lockdown. I believe it shifted the paradigm of storytelling on television.”

Looking at the future and how she plans on planting her footprints in the industry, she revealed: “I am a strong believer in God setting my path and also I believe you attract positive paths from the universe when you open yourself up. I look forward to playing characters that challenge me; trying something new and something that will excite me.”

After The Suit, Nombona will be shooting the second season of Lockdown.”

The Suit is on at The Market Theatre from Friday until May 28. Tickets R130 to R215.