Fikile’s acting career began on SABC3‘s popular soapie Isidingo. Her character, Ntombizakhe ‘Zak’ Khumalo, stirred up trouble on the drama series. Fast forward a few months later, she is playing Ipeleng; a damsel in distress, infatuated with her ex-boyfriend and the need to get married, on the drama series It’s Complicated. Fikile is also on e.tv’s new telenovela Gold Diggers as Hlengiwe, who is an obedient wife. Playing such different characters can be confusing, but not for Fikile. She tells us how she does it.
Tell us about your upbringing. Did it have any influence on your acting career?
I grew up in Lesotho and only moved to South Africa when I was in grade 11. Throughout my childhood, I was never into just one activity; I participated in every sport. I was a top student in science and mathematics, and even thought that I would study a finance-related course in university. But, I enjoyed artistic things and thought of acting as a fun activity.
When did you realise you wanted to be a professional actress?
It was during my gap year in Amsterdam that I realised acting was my calling. I was surrounded by people working in the entertainment industry. My host family was in the arts and I had friends working as journalists. It was then I realised that I should follow my passion of acting.
How exactly did you get into acting?
I was always part of theatre productions in my community in Lesotho and when I came back from Amsterdam, I studied Dramatic Arts at University of Cape Town. While in Cape Town, I would do community drama and audition for commercials. I also got additional training with an acting coach.
At some point, you were shooting Gold Diggers and It’s Complicated at the same time. How did you juggle two jobs and playing two different characters?
I had to be focused at what I was doing at the time. I had to be well co-ordinated and honest with the people I was working with. If I could not make it to the set at 8am, I had to be truthful. My agent was also very supportive and helped me work out my schedule.
What’s your advice to young people trying to get into the industry?
Do what you love and be genuine about the career path you want to follow. Don’t become an actor for the fame. The entertainment industry can be tough, and if you have the passion for acting, you will stick it out and pull through the challenges.
Let’s talk about love, what is your take on it?
Love is a beautiful thing that needs to be celebrated and given a chance.
What is your response to the backlash people have about your relationship with Atandwa Kani?
Atandwa and I do not have one type of comment with regards to the statements people have been making. As people, it is only human to focus our attention on the negativity and the scrutiny. However, Atandwa and I are not affected by that. We are embracing all the positive comments and that is what keeps us going. Those with negative responses can keep their negativity to themselves. Yes, we’ve noticed what people are saying but we’re living in our own planet – a love planet.