Actress and former Generations star Xolile Tshabalala has returned to the small screen after a short break during which she studied further, directed and worked behind the scenes.
“I never left. I was directing shows like Hard Copy and was more involved in production than acting,” she says.
Xolile says working in front of the camera and behind the scenes has given her insight into how biased the film industry in South Africa can be.
“The South African TV industry is full of people with no talent, who can’t act and are chosen because of their looks and connections,” reveals Xolile.
“As a black woman, the South African filmmaking industry is shocking. Opportunities are given to few people and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is also shocking because it does not provide enough opportunities for us,” she says.
Xolile says actors need to be treated with the same respect as doctors and lawyers, and that they should take their craft seriously. “Respect our artists until the end of time. We are here because this is our calling.”
The 39-year-old actress says people stopped going to school to act because they don’t respect the craft. “Studying film helps to sharpen your talent. Education for everything is important.”
Xolile will be returning to our TV screens in new drama series Ingozi in which she plays the mother of spoilt Dali Ndamase, played by Senzo Radebe. She stars alongside Jet Novuka, Mmabatho Mogomotsi, Wiseman Mncube, Lunathi Mampofu and Nkanyiso Mchunu.
“I’m happy to be back on screen and to be in such an amazing and informative show,” she says.
“Ingozi speaks about road safety awareness and addresses issues faced by rich, privileged families in South Africa.”
Refusing to be called a veteran, the actress says she needs to earn the title. “I still have to make more great films; I still have many stories to tell and lives to change. Until then, I can only keeping trying.”
Ingozi starts on Sunday, 12 February at 7:30 pm on SABC1.