“I have always been a bubbly character so doing Drama only made sense to me”.
These are the words of Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Drama and Production Studies alumna, Ayanda Nxumalo.
Nxumalo (23) from Pinetown says her love and passion for arts began at a young age.
“I was inspired by my high school Drama teacher, Miss Browne, who could make you cry your heart out with an emotional monologue then switch on you and make you laugh like crazy,” she said.
Nxumalo completed her Diploma in Drama and Production Studies in 2020 and expressed her sadness on not being able to attend the traditional graduation ceremony last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.
Explaining the effect of COVID-19 has had on her work, she said: “The lockdown has affected us all and it has caused a lot of job losses, especially for us who are doing arts. Since we get income by engaging with people, we are at a huge disadvantage as many of my projects got cancelled.”
The humble starlet has done quite a number of project since she graduated.
“I mentored high school students at KwaMashu in singing, taught theory and practical dance classes online. I then choreographed an African contemporary piece to teenagers in Dassenhoek, Marrianhill. I performed three hander productions called The Last Supper at the Opera theatre, and I was also part of the musical that was recorded at Wushwini theatre in Nanda, also I performed another musical at the Playhouse titled Freedom Has Come,” said the proud Nxumalo.
“The greatest highlight of my career thus far is being part of Vula Vala, which was directed by Mandla Ngcongwane usually known as Mandla N, who is one of the best Directors in South Africa. Another highlight has been performing at the Opera theatre at the Playhouse alongside my former lecturer, Siza Mthembu,” said Nxumalo.
Nxumalo also has a YouTube Channel called Ayanda Nxumalo, where she shares her music.
Stating her future plans, Nxumalo said that she will soon be working with Menzi Mkhwane in a Shakespeare production and will be performing mostly in schools around Durban.
“I will be doing more YouTube videos focusing more on singing,” she said.
Giving advice to first-year Drama students, Nxumalo said: “Do not be discouraged and intimidated by what you may hear or see with other theatre practitioners. Work hard and stay positive,” she said.
Pictured: Ayanda Nxumalo