Few minutes with Gomora’s Sibongile: Nandipa Khubone

Nandipa Khubone was born on 21 June 2000 in Durban, KwaZulu Natal.

Like many actresses who were in pursuit of their big break, the 21-year-old had to go through a number of auditions before landing her debut role on Gomora.

“I auditioned through my manager who was able to get me through to the producers after seeing a casting call," she says.

"I matched the character description and I submitted my audition tape by myself and it wasn’t seen, so I sent it again through my manager and it was seen by the producers. They then called me right away and told me it was a done deal. We went in for one more round and it was history after that,” she recalls.

Being a new talent in the industry, Nandipa says being on set with veteran actors has been a crazy but amazing experience.

“It’s been such a crazy experience because these are the people I used to see on TV while growing up and I’d point at the screen and tell my grandmother that I was also going to be on TV one day,” she says.

“But they are honestly just people who are there to do their job and they are also so helpful. They want us to feed off each other and will ask me what I need from them; they are very communicative and open. Everyone has created such a lovely environment for me where I can learn and it almost feels like family. It’s quite lovely working with everyone; the veteran actors don’t see themselves as that so that eases off a lot of pressure."

Although Nandipa says she is not as bratty and disrespectful as her character, Sibongile, she does admit that they are similar - especially in the way that their childhood experiences have moulded them. She also adds that they are both young girls who are trying to figure life out.

Nandipa is an alumni at the New York Film Academy and says she fell in love with being on stage when she was still in primary school.

“I used to get small roles in plays in primary school and I knew that I wanted more because I really enjoyed being on stage," she says.

"So when I got into high school I focused more on extra-curricular activities and started doing public speaking and other things that would get me on stage. I also started theatre and when I saw that I was excelling in it, I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

This is when she decided to go abroad to further her education.

“I then decided to go abroad to study acting. I went there in 2018 and had to come back last year because of Covid-19 but I continued my studies online for a little while. I studied filmmaking, directing and producing as well,” she continued.

Although Nandipa agrees that the experience of studying abroad was eye-opening in many ways, she says that she always knew that she’d come back home to pursue an acting career here before pursuing one in Hollywood.

“I always knew that I’d come back home to act. I definitely want to pursue an acting career that side but at the same time, I know that in order to take off that side I’d first have to have the support of my own people from this side. So it was very important for me to have something solid in my own country before branching out,” she adds.


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