The private, soft-spoken actress is almost inseparable from her beloved character Thandaza, who recently married the love of her life in the soap’s 2 000th episode. The spectacular television wedding, which was held on the banks of the Crocodile River in Muldersdrift last month, was by far Dlathu’s favorite scene on the soap.
As a woman who has always been unlucky in love, it was a great surprise that Thandaza finally got to marry the man of her dreams. And the recent episode wasn’t only a milestone for the character, but also for Dlathu. The actress has spent most of her acting career on the soap and doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
“I’m still having fun with Muvhango, so my current focus is on the production. Muvhango has become my second home. I share the joys and lows of my life with this soap – it’s pure bliss,” she says.
Like her character, Dlathu who turns 40 this year, is all about business, choosing to keep her private life out of the media. She has a reputation for not caring much for the fame and popularity that can come with her profession, and focusing all her energy on doing a good job on screen. However, fame is not easily avoidable when you are on SABC2’s most watched show.
The brainchild of playwright Duma ka Ndlovu, Muvhango portrays the lives of a group of people in rural Venda and another in Johannesburg, showcasing some of the tensions that can arise when traditional and modern values meet. It is the inclusion of a strong cultural aspect that makes Dlathu proud of the show.
“The fact that our stories represent two worlds makes it exciting for me to share those worlds with our viewers. As an actress, I’ve also learnt to adapt to other cultures, and this has allowed me to be able to engage with our multiracial audiences in different languages,” she says.
Dlathu’s career began when she was 14. She was an understudy in the stage version of Sarafina!, and was also involved in the film production in which Leleti Khumalo took the lead. Even though she doesn’t have any acting training, working on the theatre production for about a year before getting on the stage provided her with the skills she needed to achieve her current success.
Her time in theatre also gave her the opportunity to work with veterans such as Mary Twala, Abigail Kubeka and Nomhle Nkonyeni.
Even though her future on Muvhango looks bright, Dlathu is aware of the insecurities that come with her day job.
“As actors we are freelancers, and this limits us in terms of the benefits that one would get with a regular job,” she notes.
Her advice to young actors who want to follow in her footsteps is: “Stay in school, build a career and put a lot of effort into it. This industry is not for the faint-hearted.”