How do you feel about winning the position?
I am grateful. For me it is still unbelievable that overnight my dreams have materialised. These dreams, however, didn’t start last night. I worked hard for this and I am so grateful that South Africa saw me worthy of being in this position.
Tell us about yourself?
I am currently studying towards an international relations and political science degree at the University of Johannesburg.
Did you ever dream of getting such a big break?
Everything about me has been about working towards this day. This is all I’ve wanted to do. It might have taken some time because I come from a family that didn’t think getting into entertainment would be sustainable. However, I continued to chase my dream and this is the result.
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How do you think you won?
All I did was remain true to my craft and myself. I remained authentic and didn’t try to be someone I am not. I took in all the information that was imparted to us by previous presenters. What the viewers wanted was someone who can represent most of South Africa.
Most were concerned that I am Xhosa-speaking, as were the other finalists.
Being able to speak other languages might have contributed a lot to my winning. I didn’t dwell too much on the negative things.
I just had fun and really focused on winning the prize. I took everything seriously. When you are in a highly-contested position like this, they tend to scrutinise everything from your image to how you deliver.
How do you plan to navigate bad commentary that might come your way?
I have prepared for this. I am strong and grounded. I know I will please a lot of people throughout my journey but those that I don’t, I can’t do much about it. I can only hope that in my time I will continue to grow and they too will come to the winning side.
You said you were an actress. Where have you been featured?
I had my first starring role this year on a series, Mina Nawe, which was aired on SABC 1 in May. I featured in a cameo role on It’s Complicated.
Where do you think this success will take you?
As much as I am aware that this will open up many doors, I really want to immerse myself fully in this new role. This moment is all that I want to be about and I want to enjoy it. It is not necessarily just about being bigger but I want to enjoy this moment and give it my best shot.
What are you most excited about with the show?
The food is a big one for me because I am an avid cook, and travelling across this beautiful country. I look forward to going to places such as Thohoyandou, places that i have only heard about.
* Kayise Ngqula will make her debut in January 2018.
Catch OPW Sundays on Mzansi Magic (DSTV channel 161)