Local retailer Spar has a new ad campaign running, and in the commercial they have cast actors Khaya Mthembu and Stella Dlangalala.
The commercial is a light, funny skit about bringing groceries home during the middle of the month, but Dlangalala expresses how she got more for less in the advert.
While some viewers just saw another advert in between their favourite shows, legendary theatre thespian Dr John Kani mistakenly thought Dlangalala was American actress Tichina Arnold, most popularly known as Rochelle in ‘Everybody Hates Chris’.
Arnold is no stranger to Mzansi screens; in 2018 she made her debut on Mzansi Magic’s ‘Lockdown’ season three, in a role that was specially written for her.
Kani took to X and unknowingly expressed his disappointment in an international actor being cast instead of local talent.
It’s me. 😭 my name is Stella Dlangalala and I am African I owe my being to the hills and the valleys… https://t.co/hQNUuhDvRj— Stella Dlangalala (@Stella_Dlangz) January 9, 2024
“Last night I saw a SPAR grocery store advert starring an African American actor Ms Tichina Arnold of the popular sitcom ‘Everybody Hates Chris’.
“Surely they could have found a South African actor to do this advert. I am not angry, I am actually sad,” he tweeted.
Dlangalala, who has starred in several theatre productions, TV shows such as ‘The Wife’ and ‘Jiva’ and is also a comedian, responded to the legendary actor to let him know that she is the one in the ad.
“It’s me. 😭 my name is Stella Dlangalala and I am African I owe my being to the hills and the valleys…”
Kani was very “pleased and relieved” to hear that a local actress was cast and not someone international, and proceeded to wish the actress all the best in her career.
Thank you. I am so pleased and relieved. I wish you all the best in your career. I have to be vigilant all the time protecting the integrity of South African artists. Congratulations. Elder 🌹🌹🌹⭐️⭐️⭐️— JOHN KANI OIS OBE (@KANI_ELDER) January 9, 2024
“I have to be vigilant all the time protecting the integrity of South African artists,” he explained.
Spar also clarified that it was Dlangalala in the advert, and acknowledged that the “resemblance is crazy”.
The resemblance is crazy, right! Stella Dlangalala is her name, our very own gem. Take a closer look: https://t.co/bPNoUGwoDN— My SPAR (@My_SPAR) January 8, 2024