A lucky star has shone upon young and little-known model Nandi Mbatha after she was cast to play a leading role on Mzansi Magic's new youth telenovela Isithembiso.The telenovela premieres tomorrow night, with the first episode kicking off when new matriculants Simi, portrayed by Mbatha, and Zamani Mbatha, who plays herself, leave their families behind in KwaZulu-Natal to pursue a better life in Joburg, when a heist unexpectedly goes wrong.
Nandi , 20, from Newcastle in KZN, is a novice having a dream TV role debut.
However she "expertly plays tragic rural heroine Simi, a teenage damsel in distress as her move to Joburg goes pear-shaped from day one", according to production house Bomb Productions.
"Basically this is my first opportunity to be in front of the cameras but I hope to land many more roles. Doors have now been opened for me because I always wanted to be on TV," says Mbatha, a first year Unisa law student.
"I saw a post on Instagram calling on young actors to come forward to play a leading role in the telenovela. I auditioned, luckily I got the role.
"I don't know what gave me the edge. I only did what was required of me during the auditions stage." she says.
Revealing her story line, Mbatha says Simi, almost like her in real life, is a girl from rural KZN who was raised by her granny but is an ambitious young woman.
"She's a Zulu maiden to the core, shy, down to earth, sweet and has ambitions of becoming a medical doctor. But along the way things don't work out."
Mbatha is a part-time model and has an agency that is building her profile.
"It's something I still want to pursue," she says.
"Once I set my mind on something I give it my all. I want to be on TV and to be a model and will study and complete my degree."