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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

‘They are real life superheroes,’ actress Noxolo Dlamini on whistle-blowers

Dlamini plays the role of a journalist on 'Death of a Whistleblower', a film that zooms into the life of informers.

The headlines that come with the exposés are sexy and pique audiences’ interest, but the ones who pay the biggest price are the whistle-blowers who live a lonely and often times a short life after speaking out.

Speaking to The Citizen, actress Noxolo Dlamini reflected on the lives of informers after playing the role of a journalist in a new film, Death of a Whistleblower.

“They are real life superheroes. Putting your life at risk like that is not something to be taken lightly. It’s insane what happens to whistle-blowers,” Dlamini told The Citizen.

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A post shared by Noxolo Dlamini (@noxi_dla)

The brutal assassination of whistle-blower Babita Deokaran, a senior manager at the Gauteng Health Department, is the freshest in South African memory.

Deokoran’s attempts to prevent illicit Covid-19 procurement payments running into the hundreds of millions led to her ambush and death.

Deokaran was murdered in a hail of bullets as she arrived home after dropping her daughter at school.  She was shot nine times, and later died in hospital.

“When you see them being killed like that, it’s clearly important what they do. Whistle-blowers help people stand up for them… it’s important to say something when you’re able to,” said Dlamini.

ALSO READ: Whistle-blower pays ultimate price as killers roam free

Roles finding Dlamini

The 30 year-old Dlamini plays the character of Luyanda Masinda, who is an investigative journalist trying to expose corruption in private security.

“I enjoyed the script, loved the story. I love that it’s South African; it’s fighting for a good cause. I love an easy story but I want to leave an impact. I like telling stories of people who can’t tell stories for themselves,” shared Dlamini.

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A post shared by Noxolo Dlamini (@noxi_dla)

She is part of a stellar cast on Death of a Whistleblower, which includes S’thandiwe Kgoroge, Rob Van Vuuren and Anthony Oseyemi. Death of a Whistleblower is directed and produced by Ian Gabriel.

Dlamini said she walked away from the production with a new found-respect for investigative journalists.

“I have so much respect for the work they do, to put your life in danger like that is a huge sacrifice.”

The award-winning actress, who graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BA Degree in Dramatic Arts in 2014, has been part of some significant productions in her career.

Dlamini was part of The Lion King Musical in London’s West End, she was part of Isibaya and was one of the characters of the real-life inspired South African film Silverton Siege which tells the story of three anti-apartheid freedom fighters who end up in a tense bank hostage situation.

“Someone once said ‘your roles will find you.’ I’m a very instinctive person, I’ll listen to the inner voice,” said the actress. “I want to say I’m drawn to them [the roles] but they’re drawn to me.”

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