5 MINUTES WITH SHONISANI MASUTHA


We catch up with Shonisani Masutha, the first African actress to star in a Bollywood series.


You might recognise her from Muvhango or Ring Of Lies, but these days the 28-year-old actress is starring as Norah in the Bollywood production, Mehek. She also launched her own braids collection recently. What else is in store for Shonisani? We chatted to her to find out!

1. WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THAT YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR ACTING?
I have been singing and dancing, basically performing, since I was about 4 years old. I used to charge my parents’ friends to watch me sing the national anthem in our lounge. While other kids were doing sports after school, I was enrolled in the London Academy Music Drama Art (LAMDA) programme. I was then cast in the hit children’s game show, Small Talk, and the rest is history!


2. YOU USED TO WORK IN CORPORATE, TELL US ABOUT YOUR DECISION TO PURSUE YOUR ACTING CAREER. WAS IT DIFFICULT?
Well, I have always had a dual passion. As much as I love acting and the practical side of it, I also find joy in the academic side. I feel like I am a sponge and there’s no limit to how much I can learn and grow. After my Theatre and Performance degree I decided to get a postgraduate diploma in management, specialising in marketing. It lead me to an internship and a job which gave me no time to actually pursue my other passion, which was performance. The need to fulfill my calling to be a thespian actually grew so strong that I couldn’t do anything else but quit my job, move to Johannesburg and begin auditioning to make it my reality and that’s exactly what I did.

3. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ACTING GIG?
I played a young Xhosa girl called Nandi in a Mzansi Magic movie called On The Ropes.








So #Mehek is the 1st (of many I hope) TV series in which I have played a lead, Norah Gabela. It’s my 1st long term international acting gig, it’s an African first, A Bollywood first, A worldwide FIRST and I’ve just read that it has been the highest rated show on @zeeworldafrica for the last 16 weeks. πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ Wow 😭πŸ₯°πŸ™ŒπŸΎ Thanks to each and every one of you for tuning in every single night at 9pm on Channel 166 (@dstvza) - we are actually out here making history y’all!! To everyone involved in every inch of the process and outcome from the beginning to the end, those months we spent working closely together in India (you know who you are!!) , @zeeworldafrica of course for being so bold and innovative - THANK YOUUU, WE DID IT!! I’m so so proud to be apart of the awesome team! YAY! πŸ₯°πŸ™ŒπŸΎ❤️πŸ™πŸΎ #AfricaMeetsIndia
A post shared by Shonisani Masutha (@shonisani_m) on

4. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THE ROLE ON MEHEK?
My agent called me and said that the production company had selected my picture from the website and were wondering if they could see me.

5. WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY ON THE SET OF MEHEK LOOK LIKE?
When I arrive on set, I go straight to the make up chair for about 45 minutes, learning lines for the day and listening to motivational music. Lots of meeting new people, learning phrases in Hindi, more rehearsals for upcoming scenes, eating snacks I have never tried before and the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted in my life. Being on any set is a lot of repetition from shooting the same scene from different angles, with different lenses and also rehearsing lines for upcoming scenes and so it was very similar to being here in South Africa as well. It’s a beautiful experience.


6. YOUR VENDA HERITAGE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU. IS IT HARD FOR YOU TO LIVE AWAY FROM HOME?
I was born and raised in Cape Town but lucky enough to visit Venda at least twice a year in the June and December school holidays. I have always been precious about my culture and language. I’d get there and play catch up and learn as much as I can and try to immerse myself in my heritage. There’s nothing like knowing exactly where you come from and I think that’s where I got my work ethic from.



Being away from home is not as hard as the amazingness of representing Venda wherever I go.


7. WHAT SONG DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU NEED A BOOST OF MOTIVATION?
‘Intentional’ by Travis Green
‘Happy Face’ by Destiny’s Child
‘Lift Yourself’ by Kanye West
‘Toast’ by Koffee


8. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY OTHER ACTOR TODAY, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Wow, I think it would be Viola Davis, I am so inspired by her journey, technique and her grace. She seems like such a warm person and I love that.






I mean, where do I even begin. Wow yesterday felt like a dream, a whole magical dream and I still don’t wanna wake up. 😭πŸ₯°❤️ The #ShonisaniBraidLaunch2020 was an absolute success, thanks to each of you who came & blessed me with your presence & to everyone involved in making sure everything went amazingly. All of you who tuned in digitally, pushing the hashtags online THANK YOU πŸ₯°πŸ˜­πŸ™ŒπŸΎWow!! We are doing it. We have launched! We are the @shonisanibraid AKA #ShonisaniBraidGang and we are stepping into our light and shining our brightestπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ Dressed by @angaliaapparel | Driven by @bmwnorthcliff | Photos by @tashingamtk | MUA @sheshenka.govender #shonisanibraid #shonisanibraidxafrotexsa #braids #newhair #iloveafrotexsa @afrotex_prima_afro
A post shared by Shonisani Masutha (@shonisani_m) on

9. WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR?
Being the first African actress to star in a Bollywood series, launching my own braid line with Afrotex SA called the Shonisani Braid, being on the set of Royal Pains USA and getting to act with the likes of Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint. 
Also, acting in TshiVenda with the best cast and crew in the industry in shows like Muvhango, Ring Of Lies and Isithembiso.
It was also an honour to be in the first-ever Cosmopolitan Netflix Issue with Queen Sonos herself, Pearl Thusi.

10. YOUR FUTURE IS SO BRIGHT! WHAT’S NEXT FOR SHONI?
I really want to keep breaking boundaries and achieving beyond my own dreams. I want to build an empire and keep the dual passion that I have for both business and arts alive. I’ve always been really ambitious and seeing my goals come true has really been motivating me to reach even higher. Like Zozi Tunzi says, “Take up Space!”



5 MINUTES WITH SHONISANI MASUTHA 5 MINUTES WITH SHONISANI MASUTHA Reviewed by Jet Club on March 05, 2020 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.