Zola Nombona is an award winning actress (Lead Actress in a Made for TV Movie for Ingoma in 2016) and the favourite to win the show.
She’s been one of the most consistent contestants on the show and garnered new fans. Even with an ankle injury (“It was bad, babes”), she had fun and hopes people will look back at this season and find her recovery to be an inspirational story of not giving up.
“I was not willing to be that girl who leaves the show because she’s injured. No, babes. That’s not me.”
We are soon talking about Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella and how she’s going to make sure her inner Beyoncé comes out tonight. “I need to win that mirror ball trophy, babes, and so I got to give it my all.”
Nombona is in the final with her partner, Tebogo Mashilo against pop star Connell Cruise dancing with Marcella Solimeo, and Suidooster star Eden Classens dancing with Ash-Leigh Hunter.
Congratulations on making it to the finale of DWTS – you are one of three people who can make South African pop culture history if you win the trophy.
Right? It’s so nerve wracking and getting to the finale has been such a crazy thrill. It’s ended up not being about me any more, but about making sure our supporters, who have been following us on this journey, are proud of us.
You have already made history by being the first to get a perfect score.
It was so amazing. I hadn’t received a 10 from the judges as yet and then to get it from all four of them? I was shocked and ridiculously happy.
You are a performer, how much of that came into play? Did it give you an edge?
It did. Most actors on the show stayed longer than others and I think it’s because we realised that this was like performing on stage. We all took on these new characters every week. It’s like telling a story, but through dance.
You can dance- sbhujwa and all township dance styles. Did that natural rhythm help?
It did, babes! The judges said I have an undeniable rhythm, which is something that cannot be taught.
You came out the gate swinging with that jive in the first episode. Were you happy with that performance?
I watch that first performance now babes and I cringe. The footwork was a mess, I was so top-heavy. But that’s the beauty of this show, you can’t help but get better every week. So I was at the top in the beginning but I was soon at the bottom and had to fight back to get to the top. I did it.
Ballroom dancing is such a strict form of dancing,with so many rules. Which technique did you struggle with?
Babes! My feet just kept betraying me. (Laughs). Both my partner and Tebogo Kgobokoe (judge) were so strict with me. I just couldn’t turn out my feet and that would affect the way I dance.
How has your body changed after the weeks of being on this show?
I look amazing! (Laughs) I’ve dropped 8kg, lost centimetres on my waist. I’ve toned up. I have a summer body in winter. But it was also good for me mentally and spiritually.
Is there one you wish you could keep?
Yes! The yellow dashiki-print dress with the Swarovski crystals. I really want that dress and I hope I get to keep it. If I do, I’m wearing it to the next wedding I go to and I’m sorry that I will outshine the bride. (Laughs.)
Who is your biggest competition?
Uh, me? For real. It’s up to me to win this and only I can mess up on the dance floor. So I’m working hard to make sure that I get the technique and the footwork right. Once again, the basics – get those right and you’re good.
Favourite dance of the season?
The jive! I was really nervous when I did it on the first show because it’s such a high tempo dance and it has so many kicks. I love it now and I’m performing it tonight. The Charleston, which we got the full house for, is also now a favourite.