Nine-year-old Melody Nosipho Niemann, who is originally from
Pietermaritzburg, is currently appearing on the big screen in the film Sonic
She plays the role of Jojo, the niece of Hollywood actor
James Marsden’s character, Tom, in the movie, which is based on the popular
video game of the same name.
Sonic the Hedgehog tells the story of the world’s speediest
hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure
comedy, Sonic (a cartoon character voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his new best
friend, Tom Wachowski, team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr.
Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination.
Melody, who now lives with her mother, Maju Dladla, a
founding member of the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, her father, Juergen
Niemann, and her brother, Nhlakanipho, in Canada, describes the movie as really
“I really didn’t know what the movie would turn out to be,
but I knew people, especially kids, would love it, because Sonic is in it.
“James, Tika [Sumpter, who plays Maddie Wachowski] and
Natasha [Rothwell, who stars as Rachel] were so much fun to shoot with. They
played games with me during takes.”
Melody, who lived with her grandmother, Ester Dladla, in
Imbali before moving to Canada in 2012, has wanted to be on the screen since
she was two years old. She told Weekend Witness that she asked her mother to
put her inside a TV box, so that she could be like the children she saw on the
small screen. “My mom realised I really loved acting and she found an agency
for me after I turned five years old,” she added.
“I love acting because it’s fun to bring someone’s idea to
life … [and] you get to meet all these famous actors that you only see on TV
and they become your friends. Acting makes me happy and I get to travel and
meet different people.”
The young actress is currently busy shooting episodes for
two different series in the United States and Canada, but can’t say what they
are or what role she will have until they have been released.
Melody has also appeared in the television movies, A Family
Christmas Gift and A Gingerbread Romance, and in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV
series, in which she played a young Astra.