Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku on her breakout role on ‘Outlaws’: ‘This is the story and the character my soul yearned to play’

Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku stars on the show as Sihle Biyela. Picture: Supplied

Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku stars on the show as Sihle Biyela. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 15, 2023


Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku has been the name on everyone’s lips since the launch of the new Showmax Original show, ‘Outlaws’.

Nokwe-Mseleku stars on the show as Sihle Biyela.

'Outlaws’ is currently at #1 on the streamer’s Top 20 and has had one of the biggest launches of any scripted series.

“It's OUTLAWS DAY!! & we're no.1 thank you for streaming!!,” she shared on Instagram.

The modern-day Western tells the story of two families at war with each other: the Zulu, cattle-farming Biyela clan and the Basotho, cattle-raiding Ts’eoles.

Nokwe-Mseleku, daughter of the legendary musos Bheki Mseleku and Tu Nokwe, has been on screen before with one of her most notable roles playing Mbali in the International Emmy-nominated crime series ‘Reyka’.

Despite this, ‘Outlaws’ is without doubt her breakthrough lead role. The multi-talented artist says she knew very early on that she was enlisted for a very special show.

“My initial thoughts when I first read the script were, ‘This is it’,” she said. “This is the story and the character my soul yearned to play and tell. It really is a meaty one.

“Sihle represents a really well-rounded view of what it means to be an ever evolving Zulu girl, who’s hungry for more and whose values are genuinely rooted in community and truth.”

Nokwe-Mseleku added that she loved how innocent she was, and how the level of her light was also indicative of the level of her darkness.

“Sihle is smart, sensual, kind and respectful, but she’s also a skilled woman who will take desperate measures in desperate times. She doesn’t gloat about what she’s capable of because she genuinely would like to preserve her grace.”

Nokwe-Mseleku also explained how she relates to Sihle and how she has a lot in common with the character.

“As measured as she is, she is a bit self-sacrificial. And I say this with the greatest empathy, because I know what it feels like to be so overwhelmed and taken by what others are going through that you want to be the light and the Band-Aid that helps them feel whole again and appreciated.

“I work really hard to make sure that the people around me feel loved and appreciated, that they know the magnitude of their value and that it is seen, at least by me.

“Sometimes I go to great lengths, almost to my own detriment. I could see that in her too. She’ll do anything for genuine love. She’s an intuitive woman. I think that people can manipulate that side of her a little bit.”