South African actress, Zikhona Bali, portrays an ambitious young journalist who will stop at nothing to get the truth out in eExtra’s new drama, Ambitions.
The show, set to premiere on July 1 is a first exclusive to the channel and touches on the political landscape of South Africa.
Ambitions follows the journey of the young investigative journalist, Qhawe Ledwaba, when she discovers that the displaced community of Supingstad are living in squalor on the back on broken promises by their government. She finds that the community has yet to receive the housing and facilities promised to them as compensation for their removal from their informal settlement to make way for the building of a new clinic.
In the world of big business and ‘tenderpreneurship’, Qhawe knows there is more than meets the eye and sets out to uncover the story that will cement her career as an investigative journalist.
“Qhawe’s young, feisty and determined to work her way up to the top. She’s strong and fearless and doesn’t care if you’re rich and powerful, in fact that makes her want to expose you even more,” said Bali about her character.
She said working as an intern journalist at the Sowetan newspaper a few years back, helped her to relate to the character and the storyline better.
“I studies Media at university and interned at the Sowetan newspaper for two months, I guess that helped me a bit when trying to carve this character. My manager did warn me that the script was going to be hectic, but I thought after Isi’thunzi, I can handle anything. Boy was I wrong. This challenged me even more,” she said.
While Bali starred in shows like Isi’thunzi, Mfolozi Street, Zabalaza, Rhythm City and the SABC2 sitcom Gauteng Maboneng, this was her first lead role. One she took very seriously because she was playing a female hero.
“I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Qhawe has interactions with the rest of the cast so the story is carried by her. This was a huge responsibility because I was working with such professionals in the industry and I didn’t want to let anyone down. You always see male heros on TV, but this time it was a female. I owed it to myself and every other female to do justice to the role,” Bali said.
“It’s the first time I worked with all the other actors - they were really fun and down to earth. They kept me on my feet and I learnt so much from each of them, our director was also awesome,” she said.
The show also stars the legendary Mary Twala as Gogo Lizzie, Kagiso Modupe, Nokhuthula Ledwaba, Yonda Thomas, Luzuko Nteleko, Peter Se-Puma and Thulani Khubeka.
Watch Zikhona Bali as Qhawe Ledwaba on Ambitions from July 1 at 9pm on eExtra on Openview (Channel 105) and DStv (Channel 195).