From DUT Drama studies to making her grand entrance on our TV screens
Durban University of Technology final year student, Mandisa Vilakazi is one of the newcomers from the institution’s Drama department to grace our local television screens.
Born and bred in the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, the 21-year-old has always been a performer and is ready to climb her success ladder. She recalls doing drama from as early as performing religious plays at church. “I may have been young at the time but that’s when I knew I have an artistic blood and love drama, that it is for me and I am going to pursue it,” she said.
The young actress has been casted for several productions before she got her first big break on Uzalo which is aired on SABC 1 on weekdays. She plays a character of Liyana who is trying to come in between Sbu and Fikile’s relationship.
This novel actress has recently graced our screens when she made her grand entrance on a new series titled Erased which debuted on Moja Love channel 157 on DSTV recently.
“Although I first appeared on Uzalo, Erased was my first series to do and it was shot in Joburg. On that series I play a character role called Tiny Anderson who was a product of rape. Tiny was also raped at a teenage age by a family friend who impregnated her. From there on she started prostituting in order to survive” Vilakazi describes her character.
She mentions that both her characters are completely different from who she is. If there is one thing she sees of herself from her character Tiny, is that she always rises above any obstacle thrown her way which is no different from her real self because she is resilient by nature.
As an “underdog” at school Vilakazi was not counted amongst the people that can act. “I have discovered who Mandisa Valakazi is and not that I’m not good but theatre is not for me in a sense that I’m not loud but put me in front of the camera and I will show you flames,” she said confidently.
Vilakazi’s authentic and raw passion for drama is what drives her to strive to discover her full potential. When asked about her future plans, the new actress on the scene said she is currently working on a new production she shot during lockdown. Without giving much information away she said the production is expected to air in November on SABC 1.
Picture: Mandy Vilakazi