Angela Sibanda, Showbiz Correspondent
Stacey Matarise (19) has earned a huge online following due to her lead role in Amacala, a local series that is making waves on YouTube.
Amacala is an Intwasa Festival production pioneered by the Amplifying Girls Voices Through Digital Arts under renowned producer and writer Raisedon Baya.
Four episodes have been uploaded online, the first had by yesterday afternoon garnered a staggering 759 004 views since it debuted in August 2021 while the fourth has an impressive 115 561 since it was first aired in October 2022.
Stacey flawlessly brings out the character of Luba, a young girl who is chased away from her home and forced into marriage by her father after a nosey neighbour finds her in a compromising position with her boyfriend Thabo.
For someone who is still making baby steps into the film industry, her portrayal of the character is so spot-on that it has drawn empathy from audiences.
The life trials that she is subjected to in the film are brought out vividly through Stacey’s ability to play the role and the supporting characters help her navigate the challenges.
Hailing from Nketa 9, Stacey attended Mgiqika Primary School and Nketa High School where she studied Theatre and Arts, which have helped her build herself for the cameras.
Last week she scooped the Best Actress award in the Matabeleland Awards that were held at the National Art Gallery.
In an interview, Stacey said the award came to her as a surprise and a blessing at the same time as she is trying to get attention from industry players.
“I was not able to attend the awards because I was not feeling well, but I really did not anticipate winning. For me the nomination on its own was enough, taking note that I am just new in the industry and I was nominated alongside talented actresses who have already built their names.
“And for all this, I am grateful to the Amplifying Girls Voices Through Digital Arts and Mr Baya for believing in me and assisting me to gain every skill that I needed to qualify to play Luba in Amacala. I feel like this is the beginning of a new career and I don’t think I will be able to show enough gratitude to everyone who helped me get here,” she said.
Stacey said her experience in shooting the film was an amazing adventure as everything seemed to come naturally on the stage and she had a supportive team.
“Despite being used to theatre, I was so nervous and my emotions were all over but once I got in front of the camera, I just felt natural and I found myself enjoying the shoots.
“And I somehow expected to come across difficulties but everything just flowed, all I had to do was to give it my all and remain focused. Working with experienced actors who have been in the industry for a very long time also helped me a lot because they made me feel comfortable and I found myself belonging among them,” she said
Like any upcoming artist, Stacey looks up to certain individuals within the arts industry who inspire her to become a better actress.
“I draw my inspiration from Zendaya, mainly because she is young, energetic and so talented. Locally, I look up to Musawenkosi Sibanda, her talent, acting energy and how she brings out every different role that she is assigned to, really makes me want to be so much like her. I also appreciate these women’s ambitious characters, they just make me want to do better than I am right now,” said Stacey.
Amacala was Stacey’s second film after she starred in “Not my Child”, a production by Bulawayo based Geraldine Rouche Drama under the talented writer and director Khaliphile Sibanda.
Besides her acting career, Stacey is studying for a Diploma in Social work at Women’s University in Africa.