Samantha Govender.
Samantha Govender.

Actress tackles social ills through radio drama

By Nonjabulo Bhengu Time of article published Nov 25, 2021

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DURBAN actress Samantha Govender’s radio drama series that tackles issues of substance abuse and child trafficking has started a fresh run on Lotus FM.

Govender, of Verulam, north of Durban, said she always knew that acting was her passion and studied towards a BA degree majoring in drama and performance studies, media and communication, and English.

After appearing on the e.tv soap opera Imbewu: The Seed, Govender ventured into playwriting with her radio drama series, Bottled Up.

The series is directed by Raeesa Mahomed and centres on substance abuse, specifically alcohol, and the effects it has on people's lives and on their loved ones. The series also explores the issue of child trafficking.

Govender said: "My writing has always centred on informing and educating about social issues that are inherent in our community. Substance abuse can lead to it controlling its victims to the point where the victim is unaware that it is masterfully manipulative and deceitful. The end goal is to always have access to alcohol, pushing loved ones away. While the victim is finding solace in drinking alcohol, the victim loses grip with reality."

The show debuted in 2017 and recently began airing for a third time on Lotus FM.

The 35-year-old said her background in drama and performance studies, as well as her acting experience, helped her to become a writer and enabled her to communicate acting through a medium other than television.

“Radio is theatre of the mind. I did radio drama acting for six years as a freelancer. I know that as an actress it grounded me in skilfully taking on different types of characters of varying ages – from a seductress to an old lady – just using my voice. If you are an imaginative being, then you can direct the scene in your head and have a good laugh.”

Govender said she believes the show has remained successful because although the younger generation preferred being visually entertained in this fast-paced age of social media, the older generation still appreciated listening to a good story on the radio.

Listeners can tune in to the drama series weekly from Monday to Friday at 9.45am or catch the repeats on Monday to Thursday at 9.30pm, or Fridays at 8.45pm.

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