Aziwe Namba: The Kissing Booth to a South African Black-ish

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Aziwe Namba

Recently Aziwe Namba has been featured in The Kissing Booth chick flick issued in this year. Around June to September, she has been part of the Philippi TV cast for a series called “ilifelimnyama” know as a character called Busi. She then did a fashion film for the students of City varsity. She was also a lead role in a short story called Romance guide produced by film students. Around September she was casted for Fanta marketing (billboards) that have been evident in the streets of Cape Town.

She took a short course at a Film Acting Academy: ActCapeTown that is under the director Candice Poole. She was then lectured by Liese Kuhn for Acting for film 1.  Then continued to Acting for film 2 which was led by the great Tamryn Speirs.

She enjoys reading books and attending plays. Besides being an actress and model, she can sing along with playing a bit of piano and really enjoys baking. She can speak IsiXhosa, English and Afrikaans fluently and can attempt at speaking Sesotho and IsiZulu.

She is looking forward to working in the next big series, TV drama and working hand in hand with award winning producer Mandla Ngcongcwane.

Welcome to TV Series Hub, tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Aziwe Namba, middle name is Joy probably that is why I am also happy. I am a student nurse and study at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), I got a scholarship which was amazing to study at Act Cape Town part-time. I studied Film I and Film II, been featured in the Kissing Booth which recently came out this year. I have been taking part in numerous local TV jobs(Philippi TV) and student films. I am working on my own series now, well to find out more about it get updates on my social media platforms. You could say I do anything I can get my hands on.

What challenges have you faced as an actress?

As an actress I am faced with a lot– I don’t know whether it is my view or anyone else can testify to what I am saying –the biggest challenge is opportunities for actors. What I can say is, the opportunities that are available are open for those that have made it and are well known, producers are not really looking into hiring unfamiliar faces. This is just one of the difficulties that I face as upcoming actor.

You also have a YouTube channel where you talk about lifestyle, how do you plan to grow that platform?

I just started on that, to my surprise I had such a good support system from everyone around me – that is from friends and colleagues – they are supportive of the YouTube channel idea. I am planning on using my channel to launch Upcoming series which will be a bit like a South African version of Black-ish or Grown-ish where I can speak in my own language and English. I am planning to broadcast on my YouTube channel.

Have you thought of speaking about the challenges you previously mentioned on your platform?

I have thought of it, but I don’t want anything to come back at me. I don’t want to be as if I am sending a bad message about the industry I want to work in. I think I would give them a slight idea of what our challenges are.

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Aziwe speaks about lifestyle on her YouTube channel

You starred in the movie called Kissing Booth which was shot at University of Cape Town (UCT), how did you get the role?

I was just there as an extra, I knew I wanted to be an actress but I was just there thinking I am an extra and will be running up and down in the sun but as soon as we started the producers were like ‘We like your look, you could fit playing an African American” . That to me showed me that they saw something in that I probably did not see before.
I got in the role as an extra through my former agency and is how I appeared a few times in the Kissing Booth.

Having been in quite a few student productions, why did you decide to audition and go for them?

The idea I had was to build myself up and I knew that there is little to no pressure in student productions. I was and still exploring. I found myself pretty good in-front the camera and I got to hear their advice on how to master techniques.

How are student productions different?

It was very different, like in The Kissing Booth I was just an extra while in the student films I am like the main girl. The treatments are better, because you are the lead role. As an extra, you are treated the same because everyone has their significance to the film/series.
The students involve you and guide you, like showing the shots and how to improve them– they are very communicative.

What skills or edge does going to an acting school give you?

It is very helpful, I was never this alert. It gives you skills of adaption and fast learning. It broadens your way of thinking, how to react to certain things and issues with given circumstances. It allows you to be able to differentiate between acting and reality.

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Aziwe plays the piano and sings

Other than acting and singing, what are your hobbies?

I play piano, I am part of a non-profitable organization (NPO) called “feed our” we go to homes and cook for the needy. We went to Langa recently and it was amazing to be able to render such services to those who truly appreciate such work.

Which career are you going to pursue – acting, singing or both?

I think acting, I think that is where my purpose lies. Nursing is a career to get me food on your table, while I find my way up the acting industry. Acting fulfills my purpose so I strongly believe I would pursue acting.

Who are the personalities you want to work with from the industry?

Well, since I started my YouTube channel, I have many positive responses from the industry. I would like to work with such as Mandla N. – he is so good, and he is able to teach people. He is very driven and knows talent when he spots it.

What are your ambitions, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I see myself enrolling at New York Film Academy, working on South African series and award winning films.

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Aziwe is making her own series which will be Black-ish in a South African context.

Does this mean you want to return to South Africa?

Yes, I want to go to the Academy to acquire knowledge, to interact with other people so that when I come back I can empower others. I would the host workshops and speak about my experience and what I have learnt.

With a great support group already, who has inspired you the most?

It sounds crazy, but I was that rebellious kid saying, ‘Mom I don’t want to go to school and sit in a chair behind the desk and study I want to be in-front of the camera doing what I love,’ okay at that time I doubt I knew that you had to study for acting. I think I am my own inspiration. I have had this love for television work for a long time, now it’s just starting to surface.

Your project coming up, do you have any details?

We hopefully starting to shoot in this very month. I am going to the Eastern Cape on the 16th of December where I will be shooting my own short story series.
All in good time shall be revealed.

To end, what has been the most valuable lesson you have learned?

Trust yourself. It takes big guts to get out of your comfort zone and do things in-front of many people. So, trust what you are doing because self-doubt can cause you to lose focus and start questioning everything that you do.

You can reach Aziwe on:

Instagram: @Azie_namba
Facebook: Aziwe Azie Namba
Youtube: Aziwe Namba

Photo Credits:
Julia Jansen van Vuuren
Lweyl images
Yasmin Hankel
Stills by Sino