Sarafina’s spotlight shines in Chiawelo

Lungisa Mayekiso, Noxolo Dlamini and Mpumi Gumede. (Credit SANMARI MARAIS)

Soweto has never had a shortage of talent, especially in the performing arts and now Chiawelo gets to shine the spotlight on one of their own.

Living in extension three, Noxolo Dlamini, has managed to score herself the leading role in Sarafina, one of the most iconic stage plays since democracy and Mbongeni Ngema production.

The 23-year-old never intended on playing lead when she auditioned.

“Initially, my audition was to only get into the show, but things took an interesting turn when I was in the running to play Sarafina.

I went through 3 rounds of auditions which included singing, dancing and acting, all went super,” said Dlamini.

The young performer had a love for entertainment at a young age as she started in school as a part of the choir and participated in some dance.

Noxolo Sarafina.

She progressively moved to the church choir and took part in ballet lessons.

Dlamini graduated in 2014 with a BA degree in Dramatic Arts.

“I did some physical theatre and some Horton contemporary at the University of Pretoria.”

This is not the first time Dlamini has been part of such a big production, she was part of the Lion King musical West End in London in 2015/2016.

Now the successor of Leleti Khumalo, the original Sarafina, Dlamini expressed her excitement for the role.

“It’s exciting really to be able to follow the legacy that she left is pretty amazing; I’m honoured.

It’s really incredible and an exciting step in my career, especially being an original South African story.

The ability to relay the stories of others, from a different era, truthfully; but it’s a good challenge.”

Dlamini would love to do more productions after this play, tour the world and perhaps progress into film acting.

Her advice for aspiring performers is, “I say, find dance and drama groups in Soweto or even outside that teach about the arts.

There are so many that we don’t know about. Speak to people, attend shows at Soweto Theatre and find out more about how you can get involved. It’s not easy, but if this is what you want, you need to be patient for it and work hard at it.”

To watch Dlamini in the remake of the play catch the opening show on Friday, March 10 at the State Theatre in Pretoria at 8 pm.

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Sphindile Mbatha

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