Imbewu: The Seed walked away with the SAFTA award last week for Most Popular Soap/Telenovela - which was determined by a South African audience vote. One of the show's stars is Fundi Zwane, who has been with the show since 2018. GLAMOUR had a chat with Fundi soon after the win.
How long have you been playing the character of Donisi in Imbewu?
I've played the character, Donsi, since the show started in 2018.
How has the character and soapie evolved since you joined the show?
From the first episode there was a foreshadowing clue of the woes KaMadonsela would face in her marriage to her beloved Phakade. It’s been great to see her difficult marital space and family proximities. I believe when we first saw her, she was a peripheral pastor’s wife. She has evolved in incredible ways. We saw her spew out the big secret in December 2018, and the ratings themselves spoke of an audience SHOOKETH by Mam' Mfundisi aka Donsi.
What do you love most about playing Donsi?
I enjoy how starkingly different she is from me. I enjoy the fact that I get to leave all her marital problems on set once they call cut lol. I've enjoyed walking in the skin of a woman who's been through the ringer emotionally but still chooses to believe the best when so many of us would've just become jaded by the experiences.
With the show’s production base being in Durban, how does that add to the dynamics of the whole creative process/production for the show?
I believe having a Durban-based show has given the world a glimpse of what this beautiful city has to offer. I believe the show has done really well in capturing the aesthetic landscape of Durban and its sub- cultures. It's refreshing.
What’s it like to be a part of the cast of an award-winning show?
It feels amazing and gratifying. The Imbewu cast and crew work so hard and I believe this is just a testimony of men and women who are committed to contribute in telling a beautiful African story.
Did you expect the show to win?
I knew audiences love the show, but I didn't see this win coming.
We see there's something called the #DonsiChallenge that's going viral?
Now THAT'S surprised me, it's humbling to see that #Donsi has started a culture. I love how people are dressing up and re-enacting their best Donsi scene. I never dreamt in my life that people would take to Donsi this much. It think it means all the artistic choices I've made are working and translating well
What was your reaction when you saw the announcement of the win?
I froze, screamed then called my manager, Justin Nanak, who also screamed. I was thrilled. So much hard work. So much joy.
Is the win validation of how the show has grown and captured the essence of storytelling that SA audiences want to see being told?
Absolutely. We Africans are identifying with narratives that address issues that speak to our lived experiences. I believe that's what the show does, its content precipitates necessary social conversations in a manner that is unique and relatable and that's what I believe the audience has had to enjoy
How has the cast been dealing with COVID-19?
I think everyone has been dealing with it to the best of our ability. We are staying home and staying safe
How are you personally handling the lockdown?
I've been dealing with it with as much caution as I know how. Staying home has been a time of deep introspection for me and seeing our county rally together has made me feel proud to be born in this time as a citizen of humanity
I run my own a content creation and ideation company which has created shows like, Living Lit [email protected]_Zwane, on the online space so I'm always busy on that if I'm not at work. What I am excited about is the collaborations and partnerships Brand Fundi will synergies with in 2020 and beyond.
How do you see 2020 playing out for the show and for yourself?
For myself I think 2020 has come with a myriad of challenges but being a content creator myself, it's made the canvas interesting. So many of us are anxious understandably but personally I'm excited to see what art we make of the ashes left by Covid and its legacy.