Meet Mazet in Real Life

 Siphesihle  Ndaba is a simple South African girl with humble beginnings. The actress was born into a family where she had to pass through difficult times to survive. Still, thanks to the effort of her mother and grandmother, she was able to acquire primary education and even go for higher academic qualifications. Since she joined the performing arts world, the thespian has featured in a handful of stage roles and directed a play before landing her debut onscreen role as the character of Mazet in Gomora. But that is not all, as there is still a whole lot more to learn about this Mzansi beauty.

Siphesihle Ndaba was born on the 4th of  August 1997 in Johannesburg. The beautiful SA entertainer came from a large polygamous family with over 18 full and half-siblings. However, her mother who hails from KwaZulu-Natal (like her dad), only has three children; Siphesihle and her two brothers. The other kids came from her dad’s marriages to other women.

The last child and only daughter of her mother, Siphesihle was raised by her mother and grandmother. Siphesihle’s mum, being a mother who wants her children’s best, ensured that she put them through school up to tertiary level. The mother of three accomplished this feat by getting government subsidies to support the little she has. For this, Ndaba has always regarded the woman who gave her life as her role model, alongside Oprah Winfrey.

 From the 10th grade till matric, she enrolled with  Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Upon her graduation from the leadership academy, the emerging entertainer proceeded to Rhodes University for higher academic qualifications. There, she joined the faculty of Social Sciences, graduating in 2019 with a triple major. Her courses of study were economics, psychology, and drama.

The actress later specialized in acting, applied theatre, and physical theatre with the big dream of working as a drama therapist. Siphesihle Ndaba said her heart has always been with the performing arts, but she just had to study economics as a backup. Even in the face of financial constraint, the rising star still harbored plans of going for a master’s degree. She planned to study arts management, but fate and providence had other plans for her; it was precisely at this point in her life that she scored the Gomora television series role.

 Siphesihle Ndaba said attending a leadership school did a lot for her as it takes the credit for harnessing her leadership skills. According to Ndaba, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy helped in molding her into a wellrounded leader. Since then, she has been making a conscious effort to better every aspect of her life; socially, academically, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Before scoring the Mazet role on the set of the most-watched Mzansi Magic telenovela, Gomora, Siphesihle Ndaba experimented with a lot of things. At a very young age, she had already started displaying her creativity in the church where she manned the trumpet. Ndaba later became a part of the Leadership Academy’s Orchestra, playing the trombone and also joining the jazz band. Away from music, the emerging actress also tried her hands at some sporting activities, including tennis, touch rugby, and cricket where she served as the academy’s cricket captain during her student days.

Siphesihle Ndaba’s career in the acting field started taking shape from her student days at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Speaking about her school, Ndaba said having two art subjects was made compulsory for every student, and she chose to go with drama and dance which has done a lot in her career life. While still a third-year student in 2018, she debuted as a director as her play Skinned was shown at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

Ndaba struck gold in March 2020 when she emerged successful at the auditions for the role of Mazet in Gomora. The role is arguably her first on-screen role but that notwithstanding, she was cast as one of the leads. Mazet was portrayed as a dangerous but gorgeous young lady from Alexandra who draws a male character named Ntobeko into a world filled with crime.

The telenovela debuted on the 30th of March 2020, and going by popular opinion, it has already overtaken The Queen, emerging as DStv’s most-watched television series. The series has continued  to gather momentum despite the challenges experienced during production because of the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the cast needed to observe social distancing rules at that time.

When asked on why she auditioned for the Mazet role in Gomora, Siphesihle Ndaba said reading the character’s bio set her mind on the role. Her reasons are that she loves having her abilities pushed and challenged and a perusal of the bio revealed that Mazet would do exactly that. The actress said she may be different from Mazet but that is the beauty of the performing arts where you take that step out of your character and wear someone else’s shoes.

Going further, the Gomora actress narrated how it helps one in empathizing and viewing the world from a brand new perspective. According to Ndaba, what attracted her to Mazet was the fact that  the young lady never entertained any fear in being her real self and the character was the type she has never played or explored before then.

Siphesihle Ndaba further added that she loves the fact that the producers wrote Mazet as strong and powerful yet very vulnerable to her loved ones. She doesn’t joke with people that are close to her heart, functioning as their problem solver and a go-getter. Mazet, according to the actress, knows exactly what she wants in life and goes all out to get it, damming all consequences. Even though Ndaba confesses to not agreeing with Mazet’s method of achieving her set goals, she admires that attitude that screams “won’t stop until I get it”.

Siphesihle Ndaba may be all shades of criminality and all things shady on the set of Gomora, but in real life, the Joburg-born actress is far removed from shadiness. Ndaba describes herself as a shy girl that had to step out of her comfort zone to portray the character of Mazet. Sitting comfortably in Mazet’s lifestyle and dialogue, the actress confirmed it was a huge feat that took extra effort to achieve.

The entertainer, who has been described by many as refreshingly down to Earth, also agrees that she has some things in common with Mazet even though they differ in their approaches to life.

Initially, Siphesihle Ndaba said she never expected viewers to like Mazet because of her villainous character and the way she lured an innocent man into crime. However, looking deeper into her character, people realized that there is more to the girl’s actions than what is perceived at the onselt of the first season.

With that insight, the South African viewing public came to see Mazet as a mirror image of themselves; highly driven and on the lookout for a better tomorrow. People came to empathize with her as they saw their own experience with the financial plight and the struggle to overcome it reflected in Mazet’s character.

Ndaba also said Mazet’s strong female character was another reason that endeared her to fans; she comes across as calculated, confident, and efficient in damage control. Mazet has the knack to think on her feet just to have every problem fixed. Besides, her tendency to be protective towards her loved ones is another plus for Mazet as it makes her sound like someone you would want to be part of your life.


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