IT will worry fans of the SABC soapie that actress Sindi Dlathu, who plays the much-loved role of Thandaza, has once again been booked off sick from the show after she collapsed at work due to exhaustion.
Just last July publicist Amanda Ngudle reported that Thandaza had fainted while at work and was immediately rushed to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where she was treated for severe fatigue.
When we recently contacted Sindi to interview her about her simmering storyline, where she is suspected of foul play when it comes to the disappearance of Imani, her cousin who had an affair with her husband Ranthumeng, we were shocked when the soapie’s publicist disclosed that Sindi is once again on sick leave due to exhaustion. A doctor has advised her to stay away from set for a while and refrain from answering any work-related calls.
Unfortunately nobody is fit for her role, as she happens to be one of the cast members who have never been replaced since she joined the soapie in 1997.
She started her television career at the age of 14, and has worked alongside industry heavyweights like Whoopi Goldberg in Sarafina.
During the early stages of her career, she honed her art in stage plays, giving her a firm footing upon which to launch her television career.
As a teenager, she starred on TV series such as Khululeka and Soul City on SABC 2 in 1994.
Being a naturally modest and down to earth person, she has managed to keep her private life private. Throughout the years, the soft-spoken Sindi has managed to stay out of the tabloids.
She has even been able to keep the identity of her long time husband a mystery. All tht is knows is that he is not in showbiz, and she has been married to him for 19 years.
As for the number of children, she has, that too seems to be a mystery.
More often than not, she is a no-show at entertainment events. The only ones she attends are those linked to promotions for Muvhangor or SABC. Indeed many in the industry have speculated that her private persona is the reason for her staying power on television.
On Muvhango, whenever she is off sick, her character Thandaza disappears from the storyline and everything is put on hold. It seems obvious that the actress is a firm favourite with the soapie’s founding producer, Duma a Ndlovhu
Over the years, Thandaza’s character has evolved into a powerful and independent businesswoman who is able to juggle her career with being a wife and a mother.
However with so much bad luck and misfortune going on in the Mokoena household, her character has recently been th most talked about. Lately she continues to do what she does best, keeping Muvhango viewers on the edge of their seats.
But it seems Thandaza has lost her focus due to arguments with her onscreen husband, Ranthumeng. A case in point is the rage she showed when she stabbed her husband with a pair of scissor for impregnating her long-lost cousin, Imani.
The energy the actress has used in her onscreen fights with her husband Ranthumeng due to their heated arguments about being betrayed by him and their sudden divorce-all could have added to her exhaustion on and off-screen.
According to prominent artist Manager, Ayanda Malinga, the entertainment industry can indeed be exhausting.
Since South African aritsts work on a freelance basis, being off-sick can set them back financially. Being absent can mean less money for you,” explains Ayanda.
There is a lot of competition. It can be hard to resist the urge not to rest even if you are fatigued”
But even with the health scares, Thandaza is going nowhere.She was recently quoted as saying, ” i am having fun with Muvhango, so my focus is on the production. It hs become m second home. I share the joys nd highs and lows of my life with this soapie.”
Though eyes often roll when celebrities vanish to be treated for exhaustion, Dr Ngawethu Masiza says it it a valid medical condition.
“Prolonged periods of physical stress and sleep deprivation can cause problems that should not be ignored, though many people may not want to admit it,” he says.