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The drama continues on Netflix's Blood & Water S2

Netflix South Africa’s Blood & Water S2 returns on the online streaming platform with your favourite characters and intensified drama over seven episodes. Glamour chats to cast members Khosi Ngema and Gail Mabalane about the making of S2


Image: Netflix

GLAMOUR: S1 was a global hit, which must’ve been life-changing. Which changes stood out most for you?

Khosi Ngema: Being a part of Blood & Water was a positive experience. It came to me at a time when I felt unsure or anxious about my future. Also, to have somebody see something in me and trust me with this leading role felt like God was answering yes to my prayers.

Due to Blood & Water’s success, I can knock on doors I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to before.

GLAMOUR: You play Fikile, a beautiful and alluring young lady. How did you prepare for this role?

KN: The role of Fikile sort of intimidated me at first because I felt we were different – which is great because that’s the whole point of acting, right? When I researched the character based on the script, conversations with the directors and my imagination, I found a little of Fiks in me, and I used my interpretation of her to bring her to life whilst trying not to portray her as a stereotypical rich girl.

GLAMOUR: You’re also a singer-songwriter. What attracted you to acting?

KN: I loved creating and inhabiting different characters when I was a child. I’d dance, sing and randomly pretend to be The Little Mermaid! It might sound crazy, but I always dreamt of being an artist when I grew up, and it was never limited to one genre. I’m curious to find out which creative outlet I’ll find myself exploring next.

GLAMOUR: Tell us about your experience working with fellow cast members and your on-set highlights making S2?

KN: It was more interesting the second time around. I mean, we all got the memo and knocked it out of the park during an ‘apocalypse’. We spent a lot of time together on- and off-set, so I got to know my castmates better, and I love ’em.

I also became good friends with newer members of the cast. We were almost inseparable, cooking for each other and having game nights on most weeknights, in addition to the overall camaraderie that came with creating something we all loved.

GLAMOUR: How has having worked on the series affected your relationship with social media?

KN: Blood & Water’s success has brought a lot more attention to my socials, which is great because I get to connect with people from all over the world. But there’s this unspoken, underlying sense of responsibility to be aware of what I post and to have a public stance on societal issues and create awareness of them. I use it as a tool to contribute positivity to the world whilst staying authentic to my voice by posting the occasional cute picture.


Image: Netflix

GLAMOUR: Talk us through shooting S2.

Gail Mabalane: The team is like my extended family, so it was a blast connecting with everyone again, cast and crew alike, and seeing how much we’ve all grown, particularly the ‘school kids’. It was also refreshing to meet and work with a new crew and cast members. There’s never a dull moment on set, and I don’t take that for granted.

GLAMOUR: What was filming the series like during a pandemic?

GM: Gosh! What an experience! Filming S2 was very different, involving countless Covid-19 tests, safety bubbles and travelling between Joburg and Cape Town. The pandemic caused anxiety.

But I found peace in knowing everyone’s safety was a priority. This season took a little longer than anticipated due to safety measures, but I think that made us all appreciate the opportunity to work and create. It also made me more resilient.

GLAMOUR: How do you handle work-related pressure?

GM: My faith has always been a great source of stability for me; it keeps me grounded, and I draw strength, comfort and peace from it. So, when I start to feel pressure, I remind myself this platform is bigger than me; it’s about what God wants to do through me, so there’s no need to feel pressure because it’s not about me.

GLAMOUR: The wardrobe and makeup in Blood & Water are goals. How does that relate to your role?

GM: Every girl loves to play dress up, at least the ones I know. Playing dress up with the likes of Ma Eve and her makeup team, or ‘Marné’ and the wardrobe team is a treat. We have so much fun bringing these characters to life authentically. Thandeka, my character, goes through a fun transformation in this season that I look forward to sharing with our viewers.

GLAMOUR: Define success.

GM: Be yourself. No one can beat you at it! Authenticity is the currency!

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