Actress Luyanda Mzazi (23) made her acting debut on one of the biggest shows in the country, Generations: The Legacy. She shares how she got started.
By Kwanele Mathebula Pictures Peter Whitfield
I discovered my love for acting in primary school. My brother-in-law, who worked as a director on various television shows, played a significant role in helping me discover my love for acting. He often let me accompany him to work. While there, I would watch the actors in action. It fascinated me to see how they transformed into their characters. Also, seeing them on and off camera was amazing. I gained interest in acting, and the more I learnt, the more I realised that I wanted to be an actress.
I studied drama at the National School of the Arts (NSA) in Johannesburg. In 2009, while in grade 7 at John Mitchell Primary School in Jeppestown, I found out that NSA was holding auditions for aspiring drama students. I told my parents that I wanted to study drama at the school and they approved. Although I was nervous at the audition, I gave it my best shot. A month later, I got an email from the school confirming my acceptance. The following year, I started high school at NSA where I focused specifically on theatre studies. In 2014, after matric, my parents urged me to study something other than theatre, and I chose human resources. I applied for the course at the University of Johannesburg, but got rejected because I forgot to attach a copy of my ID to my application form.
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I was now faced with the prospect of not going to university, so I decided to find an acting agency. I sent Thespians Actors Agency an email asking them to represent me. At the time, I was 19 years old, and the agency only took actors who were 21 years and above. But, this did not prevent me from writing to them. A few weeks later, they responded and asked to see me for an audition. I prepared a monologue, and performed for them. They signed me immediately. A few weeks later, they sent me to audition for a role that changed my life.
The role on Generations: The Legacy is my first television job. In 2015, I went to audition for the role of Lesedi Diale. It was my first television audition, and I was nervous. A week later, I received a call back to audition alongside Siwe Dweba who played Getty on the soapie. A few days before my 21st birthday, I was feeling down because I hadn’t heard from the producers. But, my agent called to tell me that I got the role.
Being on one of the biggest television shows in the country has been life-changing. The cast and crew have been helpful in guiding me through working on television. Although I have been on the show for four years, it still surprises me how much people love it.