Q&A with Samkelo Ndlovu

The Samurai

I was first introduced to Samkelo Ndlovu back in 2012. She was one of the stars in SA’s first telenovela called, iNkaba. Fans loved her, as did the industry and she was everywhere. When I met her on set, she was warm, friendly and the two young interns who were with me were absolutely thrilled to have met her. What has Samkelo got on the go now? Lots apparently… Here’s what you can expect to come from Samkelo for the rest of the year and beyond:

1. You’re an incredible talent and a fun loving woman. When you introduce yourself to people or people ask you to tell them more about yourself, you describe yourself as?

I describe myself as a working storyteller. I use the word storyteller because I have more than one medium. I’m an actress singer/song writer and qualified director and writer for television and film. I’m also a dark dreadlocked weirdo who is a yoga enthusiast and extreme foodie.

2. There’s an interesting term you’ve coined for yourself… Samurai. Can you tell us more?

Back at film school, I moved around some musical circles. Particularly rappers. Because they often had informal gatherings called ciphers. I was often the rose amongst thorns and I was the lady who did all the hooks to the songs we jammed. So, my shortened name is Samu, even though my full name is Samkelo without the “u” between the “m” and the “k”. So, they, as creative as rappers are known to be, dubbed me “the Samu-rai”. They saw me as a strong link between bringing their words from simple rhymes to melody’s. A positive figure. And, it stocked. I liked it because it has a positive connotation to it. And Samurai’s represent tenacity and strength. I felt it suited me quite well.

3. You’ve acted in some of the biggest shows on television, more recently Mzansi’s first telenovela. What was that experience like for you?

I’ve acted In a lot of already established drama’s and soaps and some weren’t. But starting something that the whole of Africa would see. Something we had to start from scratch, was a lot of pressure. It was a prototype and we needed it to be a success, not only for us, but for future telenovela’s to come in the country. It was like being in Generations 1st episode. We either had to capture people or not. And we did. The repeat of the 208 episode season is on repeat now on Mzansi Wethu daily and people still love it. 

4. With all your acting experience, you’ve played a variety of characters. Who has been your favourite and why?

I don’t have a favorite. I’ve played 8 characters on South African television. That’s like asking me to choose a favorite between my children. The ones I’ve enjoyed playing are the ones that were the most challenging to me. The ones that are the furthest from who I am. I’d definitely say if would be my current role on Rhythm City as Lerato Tselapedi. She is a surprise everytime. Ambitious and also learning along the way. She’s walled up and has daddy issues. So, the more meat there is to a character, the more I enjoy it 🙂
5. Your dream role would be…

My dream role would be O’ren iChi from kill Bill volume 2. Lol, I’m pulling your leg. She has to be Chinese. My dream role is in an ass-kicking action flick where I get to blow things up and kick ass. I feel I haven’t been pushed to that degree, and it’s my dream to be in that Hollywood frame where I’m walking towards camera in leather and a gun while something is blowing up behind me, in slow motion. A girl can dream.

6. Your dream co-stars would include…

Taraji P. Henson, Shia LaBeouf , and Idris Alba.

7. Let’s talk music now. You’ve enjoyed a lot of success with the ever cool DJ Kent. Tell us about Vertigo.

I wrote, arranged and sang it. Including the harmonies. It’s a song that is very close to my heart that I wrote on a KFC serviette. I love music. I think in pictures and melody’s, and when this song came to me, I never forgot the melody or the words until I got my hands on that serviette.
8. You’re now wrapping up production on your own material. What can you tell us? What’s the sort of sound you’re going for? Who have you worked with? Give. Us. The. Scoop.

I’m making Neo-Soul / Lounge. It’s laid back and contemporary. I write about everything that goes on in this busy mind of mine, some social commentary on the state of my people and my country, love, romance and one tinsy winsy song about intimacy. That one will surprise people.

9. You’re an artist in all senses of the word. So we’re expecting a lavish launch. Can we come?

Yes please!! Front row??

Yes, you can expect a launch, not lavish, but intimate and informative. One where media will feel like they met a different side to me and appreciate it.

10. What’s next for Samu this year and beyond?

Some business moves I cannot fully disclose. But, I’m still focusing on perfecting my craft of acting. And you will definitely see more of me on stage performing and recording a live DVD.

11. How do people stay up to date with you and latest projects?

They can follow me on twitter as @SamkeloNdlovu , like my Facebook page “Samkelo Ndlovu” and my Instagram page @SamkeloNdlovu. I’m also on YouTube as Ms.Samkelo where they can check out my showreel.


Author: Jason Von Berg

Digital content marketer. Mobile App Editor. Entertainment, travel and New York City lover. #Triathlete, #Ironman, health and wellness advocate, @Futurelifeza ambassador

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