Actress Nambitha Mpumlwana recording her first podcast. Picture: Supplied
Actress Nambitha Mpumlwana recording her first podcast. Picture: Supplied

Nambitha Mpumlwana takes on a different role in 'The 200 Year Old'

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jul 21, 2018

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Local actress, Nambitha Mpumlwana has taken on a different approach to acting in Sanlam’s latest four- part podcast, "The 200 Year Old". 

Mpumlwana plays the voice of Lesedi, a healthy and wise 200-year-old woman. She co-stars with actor Thapelo Mokoena, who plays her "four-generation" great grandson, Sam. 

The podcast catapults listeners into the year 2218 as it explores the future like never before and tackles some of the biggest questions based on current science and future forecasts by leading experts.

Popular for her roles on soapies like "Generations," "Ashes To Ashes" and national and international film roles in "Tsotsi," "Beyond Borders" and "Invictus," Mpumlwana is comfortable with being in front of the camera, so it’s no wonder she first laughed at the idea of being involved in a podcast.

She said she was always under the impression that a podcast was where you would listen to a radio interview that you have missed. 

“I was slow on the uptake and didn’t have a clear understanding on what a podcast was. When I was asked to read through the script and to think about getting involved in this podcast I thought it was a joke — like someone was genuinely yanking my chain, but after I read through it, I thought that the concept was really good,” explains Mpumlwana.  

The actress says this experience took her back to her childhood days where she listened to radio dramas. 

“It reminded me of when I was a kid and we listened to dramas on the radio. There was no picture and we had to let our mind create the scenes for us. Those stories were really interesting,” she said.

Preparing for her role as Lesedi in "The 200 Year Old," Mpumlwana had to tap deep within herself. 

“It’s the first time I’ve played such an old character. I needed to tap into her wisdom rather than her character, this allowed me to play Lesedi in the best way I could. 

"I also related to the messages that the story told. It’s been an interesting exercise transforming into a person with two-centuries-worth of emotional intelligence, and to imagine what the world will look like when staying young forever becomes a possibility,” she said. 

“The podcast focuses on planning for your future, it answers a lot of ‘what-if’ questions. Saving is hard to do these days, especially in the Black community where Black tax is a real thing,” Mpumlwana added.

The cast is completed by actor Stephen Jennings, actresses Robyn Scott, Zola Nombona, Tanaka Gava and voice artist Shiba Melissa.

Listen to the podcast belo.

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