With such an illustrious career, what does actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and fitness fundi Khabonina Qubeka still has to achieve in the performing arts?

A lot, she says.

In her latest project, the Isidingo actress stars in a leading role in a locally produced movie Dora's Peace, directed by Kosta Kalarytis, in which she plays Dora, a Hillbrow prostitute caught in the underworld of the Greek and Jewish mafia.

The plot of the film, to be released on August 26, is that Dora sets out to save a gifted young boy (a child of her dead friend Connie) from the violent clutches of organised crime and drugs. In the process, Dora is forced to rediscover her lost humanity.

"I can safely say this is my first official movie, simply because I was given a free rein to do my thing. It is a huge blessing and honour to play the character."

Qubeka (35) says despite the movie being Kosta's baby, she agreed to play Dora because the flick is real and raw.

"I've done movies before but it was not the same with Dora's Peace, this one touches the nerve. I feel we need more movies of the genre. We've seen so many South African niceties, like romantic comedies and entertainment films, released recently," says Qubeka.

"Actually, during the media screening, some people walked out crying and next month movie-goers must prepare themselves by bringing along some tissues.

"It's emotionally touching. I love the fact that it is bold, it's made to reflect reality. Although we shot it a year-and-a-half ago, it gives the real perspective of what is happening in our own houses and families, especially now that there is this Blesser thing."

Qubeka gushed that she was ready to expand her craft by delving into the making of films as a producer.

"As a kasi girl my long-term goal is to tell the real kasi stories from a perspective of someone who has experienced that kind of life, so as to be real."

Another big project the Orlando West, Soweto-born, performer has embarked on is a food, health and fitness show called Dijo le Bophelo on SABC2,

"Nina, my Isidingo character, is blossoming, my fitness DVD has been overwhelmingly received, now I'm talking to Mzansi people about the benefits of eating healthily and exercising," she says.

"Being presented in vernacular, you can deduce who the target audience of Dijo le Bophelo is, our folk have to be constantly reminded about living a healthy lifestyle.

It is not the first time Qubeka has had a health and fitness show, on e.tv, she produced and hosted Gym: ekasi series. "Healthy living is about the food you put inside your body. I'm not going to stop now, this is only the beginning of greater things to come. I like making people talk without being controversial as a person viewers see everyday on TV.

"Just like my Isidingo character, I know viewers have a love-hate relationship with Nina. If people don't talk about what you do, it simply means you are not doing justice to the craft."

Qubeka, a SA Film and Television Awards and Naledi Award nominee and winner of the FDB Dance Umbrella and Vita awards, has been on numerous local and international soapies, dramas, tele-novelas and films. She believes in inspiring South Africa. "It is all about positive energy. If you are able to impart knowledge and inspire your fellow countrymen, I say let us do it."

Source: sundayworld