“She has a deep energy and power. She is like one of those dangerous snakes, that slithers slowly and looks harmless, but can be deadly,” says veteran actress Linda Sebezo about her character in Lockdown season 2.
Linda joins the all-star cast of the prison series set to return to the telly next month on Mzansi Magic.
She plays Maki Magwaza, who is seeking revenge on the woman who took her son away from her.
Spilling blood is second nature to her.
Linda went as far as shaving her head for the role because she wanted to “live the character” to the point where people wouldn’t believe it was her.
“Maki Magwaza is a totally different character from all the characters I’ve ever played.
“She is an inmate and this scary person who has this extra energy. When people see it, they won’t be disappointed.
“In this character, I think I’m going to shock people and I will leave them wondering if I can actually act like this. I will bring out the wow factor.
“I was getting typecast, so this role is to show what kind of veteran I am and how much I am capable of playing any character, apart from being someone’s mother,” she says.
Linda’s career spans over three decades and she credits her acting flexibility to her theatre background. She worked with the late theatre maverick Gibson Kente, as well as doing research, which equipped her to portray different characters.
She says when she did her research for the role of Maki Magwaza, “I lived close to Sun City (Johannesburg Correctional Centre), so I asked to check with inmates on how they behave, and the (prison warders) how they do their jobs, and the dynamics between the two.
“I grew up in Soweto, so that helped me with the slang I use.
‘Some of the things I had to ask my mom, because back in the day, my dad formed a gang in Soph- iatown and my mom would tell me about what happened when they were arrested.
“That’s how I brought the character to life.”
Linda is not the only newbie on season 2 of Lockdown - Pamela Nomvete is joining her as the prison boss, something the actress is excited about.
“I first saw Pamela when I was doing a show at the Market Theatre and, at the time, I was working with Gibson in the 80s doing theatre. Pamela is very talented, so you have to make sure you pull up your socks. Lockdown has an all-star cast - Dawn, Lindiwe, Nomsa Buthelezi, Slindile - you make sure you don’t disappoint.”
Lockdown 1 set the scene and the tone, so when they introduce new characters, the standard shouldn’t drop, she says.