DURBAN – Durban-born actress, Nondumiso Tembe will be among the impressive cast in the movie Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, when the film premières in America tonight.
Tembe will play the role of Grace Rwaramba, the popstar’s nanny to his three children.
Speaking to the Sunday Tribune this week, she revealed that she was a huge fan of the star and said the film would shed light on many aspects that were not known.
“We all think we know Michael Jackson’s story, but this film reveals a very different side of one of the world’s most prolific artists,” she said.
Tembe said her role in the movie was an important one and she felt honoured to play it.
“Grace became one of his closest friends and confidantes. When his children were born, he asked her to move in with them and become their nanny.
“She saw everything. They had quite a complicated and somewhat tumultuous relationship, but she loved him very much and was fiercely protective of him and she was there through thick and thin,” she said.
“It was fascinating for me, as someone who has been a huge fan of Michael Jackson all my life – but seeing another more vulnerable, human and relatable side of this icon, this man we all idolized and adored, was profound for me,” said Tembe.
The made-for-TV movie will premiere today (Sunday) on the international channel Lifetime, but it is not known when and if it will be available on South African TV.
The film is based on the book Remembering the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in his final days by Bill Whitefield and Javon Beard, who were Jackson’s bodyguard in the last few years of his life.
“Given the popularity of the subject matter, I am confident the film will eventually be available all over the world. South African viewers should look out for it hopefully later this year,” she said.
Tembe is the daughter of opera singers Bongani Tembe and Linda Bukhosini. She has a string of qualifications that has laid the foundation for an international and diverse career in the performing arts.
She has starred in various roles on international channels including the Golden Globe and Emmy award winning show, True Blood and the new TV show, SIX, a military drama.
South African audiences can also expect to see the versatile artist playing a lead role on the up-coming film, Zulu Wedding, which features popular US actor Darrin Dewitt Henson.
It is scheduled for release later this year.
Tembe said her goal had always been to be a great artist, not a celebrity. “I don’t care about how many followers I have on social media, or how many magazine covers I land, or the awards or being an “It Girl” or landing on anybody’s ‘Best Dressed’ list.
“I am an artist first and foremost.
“My mission is to achieve excellence, to do work that has a meaningful impact on the world and to have longevity,” she said.