Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, affectionately known as Lady Nam, has fast become one of SA’s respected and loved on-screen talents. Her work continues to speak for itself, as she has continued to deliver exceptional portrayals of all her vastly different characters. She last left us in awe from her villain role as Shado on Scandal!, and while we all have been waiting for her return, it seems The Queen scooped up the most fitting role for her to tackle – the New York-born African American, Shaqueesha (with two e’s)!
For those who don’t know, Lady Nam has an international range with her work, having last featured on the award-winning US hit show, Black Mirror. Having also lived in New York herself, the local audience will get to enjoy her international range through this American role.
More on the character of Shaqueesha, Nambitha shares that this experience by far has been her best work and challenge. “Maintaining an American dialect, while also tapping into and becoming a mentally unstable character with a deep and traumatic/troubling, past has been so fulfilling to play.” She says.
“Something in me shifted. I was set to leave a mark through this role and give it my absolute all, and the audience will see a shift in me through my performance. I accessed parts of me that I never knew existed, I surprised myself, but not really. I’ve been yearning for more challenges in stories, and this role was the well-packaged challenge I sought. I stay waiting for opportunities to showcase more of my depth and range, and I know this storyline will unlock a new breakthrough in my career. It’s only just the beginning.”
Moreso, she is excited for the impact the story in itself will have on people. There is a message always to how she delivers and carefully plays her roles. “I am a thespian who is driven by purpose, so if my performance doesn’t move or leave you changed and shook, I have not done my job.” she elaborates.
“This storyline is such a sensitive and important one to tell, and I hope the audience doesn’t get caught up by the distractions (her energy takes over!) As much as there is so much humour and entertainment in her, there is also healing in Shaqueesha.”
Catch Nambitha Ben-Mazwi as Shaqueesha on The Queen, from Monday 6 January, 21:00 weekdays, on Mzansi Magic Channel 161