Noxolo Dlamini is the lead actress of Netflix’s latest South African hit JIVA! and has been on cloud nine since the premiere of the series last month. Picture: Instagram.
Noxolo Dlamini is the lead actress of Netflix’s latest South African hit JIVA! and has been on cloud nine since the premiere of the series last month. Picture: Instagram.

Noxolo on a high since her dance drama’s Netflix premiere

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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Johannesburg - Noxolo Dlamini is a ball of high energy.

The lead actress of Netflix’s latest South African hit JIVA! has been on cloud nine since the premiere of the series last month.

The drama follows the life of talented street dancer Ntombi who, while juggling the demands of a dead-end job, family responsibility and a rocky love life, realises that her dance moves could be her ticket out of her working-class neighbourhood in Durban.

But first, she must overcome her fears, beat her rivals and sort out the chaos that is her family.

Dlamini didn’t initially audition for the lead role but for one of the supporting cast members.

“I read the brief, but I couldn’t audition for the lead at that time because they were looking for someone who had to be from KZN and speaks fluent Zulu. My Zulu is very Soweto. When I went back for my call backs, they asked me to audition for Ntombi,” said the 26-year-old.

What attracted her most to the role was the story of dance.

“Also the fact that there are five female leads. That was stunning. To be able to tell a South African story by South Africans for the world is amazing. It seemed like a fun project that I wanted to be part of.”

The Netflix series follows in the footsteps of South African dramas Queen Sono and Blood and Water which have shone on the streaming platform they are now in production for their second seasons.

While she may be a new face on the screens for many, Dlamini has been working in the industry for some time. Some of her roles include major theatre productions like The Lion King international tour where she played the role of Nala and a leading role in the 2017 stage production of Sarafina. She also bagged a small role in Isibaya in 2019.

“I have always done acting in some form. I did drama in school, I went to the National School of the Arts to study drama. I was there for two years, when I left I went to Dominican Convent and continued doing it. I went to the University of Pretoria and got my BA degree in dramatic arts.

“It was something that was always going to happen.”

JIVA! is a high energy series that leaves its audience in awe. South African music and dance moves have been shared across the world on platforms like Tik Tok, Twitter and Instagram. Many dance moves have been picked up by dancers across the globe.

“For me the dancing came along with the acting. When I started dancing it was in front of the mirror at home. I used to do Spanish dancing in school and some freestyle which was more jazzy and fun. I went on to take up ballet in Grade 10. I have always been active and I love dancing. It is something I knew would one day become a career.”

Interestingly enough, Dlamini was never into the jiva lifestyle as a dancer who came from a different type of dance background.

“I never used to do jiva, it just wasn’t my thing,” she said.

The Star

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