Africa Is My Priority

Terh Agbedeh of the Talent Press Durban 2014 interviews actor Thisiwe Ziqubu about her rollercoaster ride to stardom.

Thisiwe Ziqubu in HARD TO GET.

Thisiwe Ziqubu plays Skiets in HARD TO GET, the opening film for this year’s edition of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). The actress, who came to the limelight in MAN ON GROUND, directed by Akin Omotoso, said it sometimes feels like she is on a rollercoaster ride.

"I feel like that now, since HARD TO GET came out. The past three days have been a rollercoaster, but it is nice, it is thrilling," she said. Ziqubu, who is working on the script for her first feature film explained that HARD TO GET is incredibly different from her first film, which was a very internal exploration of social issues.

"I really enjoyed playing Zodwa. It was such a learning experience for me. I was thrown into the deep end playing with artists like Fana Mokoena and Hakeem Kae-Kazim. It was an honour. It really groomed me," she said.

Obviously, she said, the exploration of a character is always incredibly internal. "Skiets was a very complex character with many internal issues that she is struggling with herself. Exploring them was quite intense, but it was also a very physical film, very dynamic, fast-paced. So in terms of genre, they are two different films. Approaching a character in such films is never the same. I think no two films are the same in how you approach the character, so I am very glad to be exploring such varied roles, because you don’t want to be put in a box as an actor," she stated.

The actress, who apart from the two feature length films has been in three television films and a Canadian series, among others, said her sojourn in film started as a volunteer for the DIFF.

Before then she was writing scripts, and she still is as a matter of fact. "I studied scriptwriting and directing after high school. I went to AFTA film school. There is one in Johannesburg and Cape Town. I studied at the one in Johannesburg. I have always wanted to act, but I am actually a very shy person, very shy, very insecure. So I was always very afraid," she explained.

But the shyness is all in the past. Although she cringed when her father showed up to watch the screening of HARD TO GET, Ziqubu knows that there is no looking back on her career path.

"I would love any opportunity to work globally because I see myself not as a South African artist, I see myself as a global artist. And I would love any and every opportunity to engage with audiences the world over especially Africa. God, this continent is my priority," she said.