Meet Zikhona Bali, Asanda from Diepcity in real life

DiepCity lead star Zikhona Bali will exit the drama in a shocking twist in December, ahead of the telenovela’s conclusion in March. 

Speaking to S.Mag, Zikhona said:

“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t be leaving DiepCity and a character I grew to love. But I understand that it’s the end of the road for Asanda much like all storylines,” says the multifaceted actor. I’ve never played the role of a pastor’s side chick who’s a criminal; with that role I had to navigate my feelings on how best to execute Asanda to viewers as authentic as possible. Asanda is dearly loved by those around her because at first, she seemed sweet and angelic only to turn out the exact opposite. She gets caught up in the land of dodgy dealings with her pastor boyfriend and battling drug addiction… how she’ll exit the show will certainly shake viewers.”

“Leaving this role is bittersweet for me because I’ve always worked on productions where I’d be filming for a few weeks whereas in DiepCity [which was my first ever telenovela] I was shooting a year and odd months, making it my longest stay on a set production, I’ve loved acting on the set, I’ve loved the people I worked with on the show and playing Asanda, but now I have to step away and find Zikhona again. This will help me get more on-screen opportunities that’ll be knocking on my door.”  

“I tend to not pick my favourite role because I believe each of them defines who I am as an actor… but what I’ve noticed is that people loved how I played Londiwe on Is’Thunzi. However, I say each character played a pivotal role in different stages of my life as I was acting them, When I was 23, I probably looked 16 years old, I played the role of Ziyanda in Mfolozi Street. The character at the time served a purpose in my life then, which applied to my life."

“I don’t think I would be here if things didn’t take their course, pace and timing. I don’t think I would’ve played Asanda the way I played her but because of the long road, I was mentally prepared for it. Back in high school, I had given myself 10 years to make it in the industry and now that it’s about to pass, I am thrilled with how things are going for me.

Here is everything you need to know about the actress in real life....

 Zikhona Bali (born June 7, 1985) is a 37-year-old South African actress who plays Asanda in Diep City and is famous for her roles in other popular Mzansi series such Is’Thunzi, and Generations: The Legacy.

The actress’s role in Diep City is considered one of the biggest roles in her TV career. Through her stellar performance on the show, she has gained more acting opportunities and international recognition. Bali is currently one of the most sought-after actors in the entertainment industry.

The actress was raised by her grandparents. She has, on several occasions, narrated how her grandparents stood by her as a young girl and how her grandmother’s prayers kept paving the way for her in her early days as an actress.

According to her, her grandparents encouraged her and ensured she didn’t feel bad or hurt herself during her school days when her peers bullied and mocked her for being dark-skinned.

They used to call her ‘nomdakazana’ (a Xhosa word that loosely translates to the dirty one) because of her darker skin, but each time she came home sad, her grandparents would tell her she was an epitome of African beauty and more.

Sadly, the actress lost her grandfather in 2017, and she admits that she is yet to come to terms with his passing to the point she almost committed suicide some years ago to see her grandfather.

Bali attended Riebeek College Girls’ High School in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape. She furthered her education at Boston Media House, where she spent two years studying Media Studies and Journalism. She graduated with a Diploma from the institution in the year 2010.

Before her emergence in the entertainment world, Bali did a couple of jobs. She worked as a writer, photographer, and marketing and PR assistant. The Eastern Cape actress began her career in the outdoor movie theater, Kasi Bisokop.

After featuring in their movies, she discovered she was born for the screen and had to take acting classes to hone her talent. Zikhona debuted on TV in July 2014 after winning the role of Ziyanda in the SABC drama thriller Mfolozi Street. She went ahead in 2016 to reprise the role in the show’s second season, after which she began making more appearances on the screen.

The SABC2 sitcom Gauteng Maboneng, Zabalaza (2015), Binnelanders, Rhythm City, Generations, and Ambitions. She played the lead role in one episode of the drama eKasi: Our Stories entitled Thula Thula. The episode first aired on Monday, January 11, 2016. The actress also guest-starred in the fourth season of the drama series Umlilo in 2016.

In October of the same year, he bagged a starring role on the Mzansi Magic teen drama series Is’thunzi. Bali joined other casts on Diep City in 2021 as Asanda, the dutiful and loving partner of preacher Charleston (played by Chrispen Nyathi). The Mzansi Magic telenovela DiepCity documents the lives of four young women as they try and struggle to make ends meet.

The actress portrayed her character in the telenovela very well. From her mode of dressing and the way she relates with everyone around her, it is difficult not to love Bali and the character she plays.

She shared the screen alongside veteran actors such as Dawn Thandeka King and Hamilton Dlamini. She hasn’t left the show as she is expected to feature in the final episode of the tv series.

She Is Also An Internationally Recognized Actress

Zikhona Bali is currently one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry. She has proved to be an asset, having made it to international shooting sets and winning prestigious awards in recent times.

Her role in the movie Thando earned her an award as the Best Actress at the BRICS film festival China. Thando explores the increasingly prevalent issues of teenage pregnancy, suicide rates, bullying at schools, cyberbullying, and colorism. Another short film Bali also featured in – When The Sun Sets – won the HBO Short Film Award


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