Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Nandipha Pantsi
2 minute read
10 Sep 2015
6:00 am

Khanya Mkangisa climbs the Isidingo ladder

Nandipha Pantsi

When Khanya Mkangisa joined Isidingo last year, she was meant to play a small cameo role, but now the 27-year-old actress has become one of the soap’s principal cast members.

“I grew up watching Isidingo. When I started working on the show last year, I knew it’s where I belonged,” she said.

Mkangisa may be young, but she’s no newbie in the entertainment industry. She started working as a YO.TV presenter at the age of 15 and has been on dramas such as Zone 14, Intersexions and Rockville.

But being a young female does come with it’s challenges – and for Mkangisa its the “it girl” phenomenon that seems to be taking over the entertainment industry.

“Things have changed in the industry. These days it’s no surprise to see someone get a big role on television simply because they have a high number of followers on social media. A lot of great actors with experience and skill are being overlooked for roles because they aren’t as popular as the so-called ‘it girls’.”

As a young, beautiful and well-known woman who has also endorsed a cosmetic brand, it’s strange Mkangisa doesn’t consider herself an “it girl”. But the actress says she’s earning her stripes and would like to see her name among our country’s acting greats.

“I’ve been working in this industry for a long time. I didn’t just arrive. In the beginning, I struggled to get respect from people in the industry because they didn’t take me seriously, but now I’m at a point in my life where my work can speak for itself.”

Mkangisa believes her role on Isidingo will push her to grow as an actress. “Being on such a big soapie also comes with a lot of pressure. The cast is amazing, so it’s important for me to learn as much as I can from them so I can be just as good.”

Does she fear being typecast and being known as her Isidingo character long after she’s left the show? “Absolutely not. I have been very lucky to have been in many different dramas before Isidingo. I know how to snap out of characters believably.”

Her advice to young people who want to have a career on the small screen? “Work hard on your talent. Don’t rely on getting work with only your looks and your popularity, because those things can fade with time.”