Vele Manenje is making sure she secures the bag in 2021
South African actress, Vele Manenje is at the prime of her career and she has no plans on slowing down.
The Safta award-winning actress is juggling roles in three TV shows. The first is on kykNet’s “G.I.L”, where she takes on the character of Princess Mohandi, a Xhosa security guard.
In the second, she plays the wife of a township thug in Mzansi Magic’s “DiepCity”, and her latest role will be in SABC1’s “Skeem Saam”, where she will play a Pedi woman named Evelyn, a former school teacher, starting on April 27.
“I am happy to have several roles in a time where work is so limited. It hasn’t been easy for actors in the entertainment industry, so I count myself as blessed for being able to do what I love in a time of Covid-19,” said Manenje.
Her work day is packed. “I wake up and leave home by 4.30am so it’s a very early start for me.
“Usually my shoot times are well planned out by my manager, so I don’t have to stress too much and rush from set to set,” she said.
Vele said although being on three shows at once might seem challenging, she makes it her duty to lay out her characters’ biographies on paper to help keep them separate.
“It’s easy to get mixed up in storylines when you’re dealing with so many different characters.
“I always write down each of my characters’ background profiles – one is a Xhosa woman who is strict and likes order, the other is a Sepedi woman and the third a Venda-speaking shebeen queen.
“So all these references allow me to move effortlessly from one role to another,” she explained.
She said knowing several South African languages has its advantages.
“I didn’t learn these languages by choice, I picked it up from public school and it was stored somewhere in my memory.
“When I have to audition for different language roles, it does put me at an advantage,” she said.
While Manenje is working around the clock, on her days off she makes time for her loved ones and a much-needed pamper session.
“Sometimes you can get caught up in your roles and they consume you even when you aren’t at work, so it’s important to make time to relax.
“My family and friends keep me grounded. I also enjoy getting pampered or going out on lunch dates with my bestie,” she said.
Manenje is working on several other projects this year but she can’t talk about them yet.