PRETTY Ncayiyana’s rise to fame has been quick.
The 24-year-old actress, well known for playing Ayanda in the soapie Skeem Saam, said she has always wanted to be an actress.
When she was young, she joined a community theatre group in her home town of Port Shepstone, KZN. “I knew I wanted to be an actress and my mum encouraged me to follow my dreams.”
Pretty said her single parent mum never forced her into anything. “I’m grateful for her support and for helping me to be the woman I became through her strong morals and values.”
She said the role of Ayanda introduced her to Skeem Saam fans across Mzansi. “Ayanda has a good head on her shoulders and is ambitious. She enjoys being in a relationship, but understands she must be educated and independent,” said Pretty.
“Ayanda and Pretty are not really different and that’s why I could step into her shoes and portray her to the best of my ability.”
In Scandal, Pretty plays Phindile, who wants to make money, be independent and have a good time in the city.
“While Phindile wants to have fun, Ayanda is a serious woman. It’s challenging to play two characters in different shows because the audience must be able to see the difference between them.”
She said she is attracted to acting because she wants to tell South African stories and touch people. “Acting is a beautiful art form. We must tell our stories honestly and in our own languages that we understand.”
She said she wants to share stories about myths and legends because not enough gogos tell them anymore.
Her goal is to perfect her skills and become a respected actress. She said acting taught her to use her skills as educational and entertainment tools. “It also taught me how to value myself as a young black woman.”
One of her favourite actresses is Masasa Mbangeni. “Her work is beautiful and I love the way she has managed her career.”