Actress Shalima Mkongi stars in Showmax’s first original horror movie, Rage. She chats to us about the movie and her growing career. By Kwanele Mathebula
I was born in Cape Town. But, I did my primary schooling in Limpopo and Johannesburg. I then returned to Cape Town where I completed my secondary education. As a child I participated in a lot of pageants, which informed my love for the stage. So, after high school I went to study theatre and performance at the University of Cape Town. After graduating I relocated to Johannesburg to make my dream a reality.
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My mother had an influence on my career path. When I was a child she took me to castings. She always recalls me doing impersonations of famous people such as Nelson Mandela and Brenda Fassie. But it wasn’t until I was selected for my primary school’s annual play that I discovered my love for acting. The rush I got while performing, the joy and the feeling of being alive made me love the stage. From that point, I went on to attend The Waterfront Theatre School as a part-time student until I matriculated and was able to go to tertiary.
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Being a part of Showmax’s first original horror movie is a dream come true. This is especially because I love horror movies. I’ve always enjoyed this genre, so when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t say no. I was intrigued by my character, Sihle, because she’s a teenage physics nerd with a future in biochemistry. She is not only smart but very stylish as well, which isn’t typical for these types of characters. I enjoyed how she navigated through relationships at her age, showing a maturity I personally wasn’t aware of when I was her age.
Many of the challenges I have experienced have mostly been internal. I’ve overcome them by loving myself more and clapping for myself even when there’s no audience. I’ve also learned the hard way that acting is spiritual and a craft you should learn to treat as such.
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My career highlights include being cast in this movie. To know that I am a part of Showmax’s first horror film and original movie is incredible. Also, winning best actor in the 48-hour Film Festival Cape Town edition in 2017 was affirming. Other highlights include acting alongside Sonia Sedibe and Mothusi Magano, and being cast as an inmate in the SABC 1 drama series, Diamond City.