Born for TV: Meet your ROIL BAA nominee Natasha Dlamini
Millicent Dube, Showbiz Reporter
Natasha Dlamini — remember the name — that’s if you don’t know her already.
Here is a brief summary of her — she is an actress and a Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) nominee for Outstanding Film/TV Actress. She has featured in big productions such as Netflix’s Queen Sono, DStv’s Tangled and Veza The Movie and she played the role of Mary, in the highly rated isiNdebele sci-fi, The Signal.
The Signal is a film about a deadly sound transmitted from space known as “The Signal” which then goes on to corrupt the minds of all who hear it, turning them into soulless demons under its control.
Natasha poses as the leading lady Mary, a character that taught her the only limit in an actor’s performance is their imagination. “The Signal being the first-ever Zimbabwe sci-fi production, which was acted in isiNdebele, a language mostly spoken in the south side of Zimbabwe was the greatest to be a part of. Born and bred in Bulawayo, it was somewhat easier to fit in with the rest of the cast.”
Natasha talks about how she was never a Sci-Fi fan and had to watch at least five Sci-Fi films a day, listen to audiobooks and try to understand the vocal journey of the characters in that particular world.
She had to learn how to react to things that are not on set, tapping into the imagination while playing her character.
At that moment and time, it became clear to her that her dream and talent were opening doors for her. The role came at a time she really needed to believe in how capable she was in telling a story that the public relates to.
“Being part of the nominees is a great feeling, now I am proud to hold my head up high. This is more proof that I did not make a mistake the day I went for those auditions in Harare. Now the time has come for people to get to know and recognise my talent as I grace their TV screens. It’s awesome that one person can eventually tell a story that is totally different from their own life and the public can relate to what they are watching on their screens and I am really excited,’’ Natasha said.
Natasha’s acting career started in 2017, before that she never thought she would be an actress. She grew up an academic child who wanted to pursue law as a career. After finishing her Advanced Level, she applied for a scholarship to study law, which unfortunately never came her way.
One day while perusing the newspaper, she came across an acting advertorial that required her to travel to Harare for the casting. She clearly remembers feeling at home when she was in the audition room, which then became the first day of meeting her true self.
“Working hard to prove myself worthy of a certain post has always been a part of me. I remember the year I was supposed to start Form 1, I delayed the enrolment due to financial restraints at home. Only joining others in the third term, the teachers already posed an attitude towards me questioning how I was going to pick up on what has been learnt in a year. So that moment it dawned on me that eventually, I have to work harder and convince the teachers that I am actually capable, mind you, I was never an A student but an above-average student.
“What I admire the most about my work is that when you create a character you can’t judge it, you just have to play it truthfully because it’s important that we tell the truth as much as possible in our line of work so that people feel less alone. Each of the few productions I have been a part of has taught me different qualities such as patience, hard work, love, strength and handling rejection,’’ Natasha said.