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Our May cover star Ama Qamata opens up about her life, career, wellness practices, and the importance of authenticity

Photography: Michel Oliver Love
Photography: Michel Oliver Love

If you ask most people what they wanted to be when they grew up, they ended up in an entirely different career. That’s not the case with Ama Qamata. “I remember when I was a little girl. Other kids would say they wanted to be lawyers and doctors, but I wanted to be an actress. My mom would joke about it with other parents. She’d say, ‘I’m not raising a doctor or lawyer because we already have those in the family – I’m raising a star.’”

Fast forward to the present, and Ama is 23, now playing a leading role on Mzansi’s biggest shows. She’s one of the faces of adidas’ Impossible is Nothing campaign. Ama embodies the campaign message, which encourages people to see possibilities with optimism and explore the future they’ve always imagined for themselves.

She says this partnership is a dream come true. “I’ve wanted to work with the brand for a long time, and I love the fact that people are witnessing my journey. It’s crazy that when I was 18, I said that one day I wanted to work with adidas.” And as someone who only aligns with brands that resonate with her values, Ama says her involvement with adidas was on the cards. “It’s purpose-driven, and I believe in that. I won’t do anything for money, fame or popularity. It has to sit well with me and my spirit, so when I had the initial conversation with the brand, our energy matched instantly.”

Ama is intriguing in general, but I particularly admire her honesty. “I believe in being authentic, and I spend a lot of time with myself, which helps me live from a truthful place.” The thespian doesn’t let the hype about her phase her. I’m curious about what this speaks to. She leans into the conversation as she relays her story. “I was born in the Eastern Cape and moved to Joburg with my parents when I was three,” she begins. “My mom and stepdad (who I call Dad) raised me, and I have two siblings from my mom’s side and two from my biological father’s side.”

Photography: Michel Oliver Love

As the eldest of all her siblings and 16 grandchildren, Ama’s self-aware and level-headed. She says her parents have been instrumental in her success. “My dad entered our lives when I was very young and invested a lot in my dream to be a performer. He’d take me to singing and piano lessons, drama rehearsals and auditions.” She recalls a heartwarming memory of writing a play in high school. She wasn’t sure whether people would like it, “but my dad was super-excited as soon as I shared it with him, which gave me the confidence to go through with it”. Ama continues, “My parents are entrepreneurs and have always had busy careers, so I didn’t expect them to make it to the show. Also, my dad hates driving at night, so when my friends told me he was in the audience, I didn’t believe them. When I spotted him sitting there, I cried.”

She recently moved out of her parents’ home, which she admits she was in no rush to do because it’s her “happy place. “I can be myself when I’m there – they don’t treat me like a celebrity, I still do chores, and I love that because it keeps me grounded.”

Her onscreen sister on Blood & Water, Khosi Ngema, plays a significant role in her life too. “She’s my best friend, and we have meaningful conversations and pray together. We’re both young women in the entertainment industry, so it helps to have someone like her in my life.”

What drew her to acting? “I’m naturally reserved and don’t show a lot of emotion. there’s the occasional tough day and nervousness to overcome. “I broke down the other day when we were shooting a hectic scene. I wasn’t getting it, which was frustrating. But the moment I stopped trying so hard, I had a breakthrough. That’s the irony. The minute you relinquish control, let go and surrender to the process, magic happens.”

#ImpossibleIsNothing #GLAMOURxAma

Read the the full interview in Glamour’s 2022 Wellness Issue, now available in-stores and online, here.

Behind The Scenes with Cover Star Ama Qamata

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