Following an open-call casting held in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year, e.tv has announced that Scandal! will soon welcome two new faces to the cast, Smangele Mbatha and Andile Sithole.
“e.tv and Ochre Media undertook an in-depth search in March this year to uncover fresh talent from KwaZulu-Natal, with the goal of finding two individuals who will bring an authentic flavour to a new family that has been written into the soapie,’ says Monde Twala, e.tv Channel Head. “We wanted these roles to be played by individuals who understand the heart, spirit and lives of our KZN viewers.’
The role of Nomcebo, Kila’s wife hailing from rural KwaZulu-Natal, will be played by Smangele Mbatha. Andile Sithole has been cast to play Ndumiso, Kila’s ambitious brother who will come to Johannesburg seeking his fortune. Both of these characters will bring about some drama, surprises and heartache to Kila, played by the acclaimed Siyabonga Shibe.
“We had over 300 people audition for the various roles. In particular, the talent chosen displayed not only phenomenal raw talent, but also a sense of pride and authenticity that will ensure that their characters come to life,’ says Ilse van Hemert, Series Producer.
One of the most interesting elements to come out of the search in the province was the discovery of a few more faces that will join the cast. The judging panel was inspired by the talent unveiled and these dynamic characters are being written into the scripts post the castings.
“One of these additional characters has already been written in to be a central new character, Zinzile, the nanny of Shakira’s baby. She will be the matriarch of the new KZN family. The actress, Gcina Nkosi, is phenomenal,’ says van Hemert.
“We uncovered a gold mine of talent in the province, and have therefor decided to write in more characters hailing from the province into our storylines. Viewers can also expect to see established KZN actors such as Phindi Mavuso and Patrick Qoma on Scandal! as part of Kila’s family,’ concludes van Hemert.
Mbatha has graced South African television with previous roles on Gazlam, Yizo Yizo, Heartlines as well as Zone 14. She has also played roles in a variety of theatre productions and, further showcasing her multi-talents, has also been a driving force at Gagasi 99.5 FM as a content producer for the last three years.
“Getting the role of Nomcebo on Scandal! means a lot to me and I really appreciate the way that the scriptwriters on the soapie have structured the storyline of my character which deals with the often misunderstood topic of polygamy,’ says Smangele. “It was created with the mind-set of dignity and respect, which I think will resonate with audiences.’
Sithole is a 23 year old from Mpola in KwaZulu-Natal, and has had previous roles in numerous community theatre projects and radio dramas. Although he has no formal training in the Arts, Andile’s passion has led him to pursue a full time career in drama. His role on Scandal! marks his first television appearance.
“I am so excited to be part of Scandal!, I have wanted a break like this for many years and finally the opportunity has been given to me,’ says Andile.
Scandal airs on e.tv Mondays to Thursdays at 19h30.