Who Is Siphesihle Ndaba? – Meet The Real Life Mazet from Gomora

Siphesihle Ndaba became a favorite in all of Mzansi for several reasons. The up-and-coming actress is viewed by many as gorgeous, talented, focused, and brilliant, prompting many young South Africans to adopt her as a role model. Her debut onscreen role on the set of the most-watched Mzansi Magic brand new hit series, Gomora, won the hearts of the SA viewing public. According to her, she became the success we see today thanks to the influence of two great women; her mum and American media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey.

Away from the glittering world of showbiz, Ndaba is a simple South African girl with humble beginnings. The actress was born into a family where she had to pass through difficult times to survive. Still, thanks to the effort of her mother and grandmother, she was able to acquire primary education and even go for higher academic qualifications. Since she joined the performing arts world, the thespian has featured in a handful of stage roles and directed a play before landing her debut onscreen role as the character of Mazet in Gomora. But that is not all, as there is still a whole lot more to learn about this South African beauty.

Siphesihle Ndaba Was Born In The Late 1990s

Siphesihle Ndaba is a Johannesburg-born actress with her date of birth captured as the 4th of August 1997. The beautiful SA entertainer came from a large polygamous family with over 18 full and half-siblings. However, her mother who hails from KwaZulu-Natal (like her dad), only has three children; Siphesihle and her two brothers. The other kids came from her dad’s marriages to other women.

The last child and only daughter of her mother, Siphesihle was raised by her mother and grandmother. Except for the aforementioned tidbits, details about the actress’s mother are not known, likewise her dad. Even though Ndaba refused to share facts about her family, she has always reiterated that her mother is her role model and best friend.

The Actress Is Well Educated Despite Financial Constraint

With over 18 children in one family, it is glaring that the purse string in the Ndaba household was very tight. Thus, financial assistance was always in short supply. However, Siphesihle’s mum, being a mother who wants her children’s best, ensured that she put them through school up to tertiary level. The mother of three accomplished this feat by getting government subsidies to support the little she has. For this, Ndaba has always regarded the woman who gave her life as her role model, alongside Oprah Winfrey.

Thanks to the government subsidies, Siphesihle Ndaba was able to join other children in pursuit of primary education; however, her earliest academic records are not available. From the 10th grade till matric, she enrolled with one of the known institutions of learning in SA called Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Upon her graduation from the leadership academy, the emerging entertainer proceeded to Rhodes University for higher academic qualifications. There, she joined the faculty of Social Sciences, graduating in 2019 with a triple major. Her courses of study were economics, psychology, and drama. The actress later specialized in acting, applied theatre, and physical theatre with the big dream of working as a drama therapist. Speaking in an interview session with IOL, Siphesihle Ndaba said her heart has always been with the performing arts, but she just had to study economics as a backup.

Even in the face of financial constraint, the rising star still harbored plans of going for a master’s degree. She planned to study arts management, but fate and providence had other plans for her; it was precisely at this point in her life that she scored the Gomora television series role.

This Is What The Actress Had To Say About The Academic Institutions She Attended

On whether the school she attended helped her on the journey to fame, Siphesihle Ndaba said attending a leadership school did a lot for her as it takes the credit for harnessing her leadership skills. According to Ndaba, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy helped in molding her into a well-rounded leader. Since then, she has been making a conscious effort to better every aspect of her life; socially, academically, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Going further, Ndaba gave Leadership Academy the credit for equipping her with the ability and knack to better articulate her thoughts, judgments, and opinions. Appreciating her alma mater, the actress gave kudos to Leadership Academy for celebrating everyone’s strengths and for not holding any career in higher esteem to the other. According to the SA entertainer, her school is known for celebrating success no matter your area of specialization; whether sports, academics, or arts, everyone was celebrated equally.

This practice of putting everyone on the same level at Leadership Academy was what gave her the needed comfort and confidence to go in pursuit of a career in the performing arts. Even after she studied economics, her school’s culture of encouraging students to celebrate their strength in all aspects of life came to play and the actress decided to keep economics aside and reach out to the artistic realm.

This is What Siphesihle Ndaba Was Doing Before She Made Her Onscreen Debut

Before scoring the Mazet role on the set of the most-watched Mzansi Magic telenovela, Gomora, Siphesihle Ndaba experimented with a lot of things. At a very young age, she had already started displaying her creativity in the church where she manned the trumpet. Ndaba later became a part of the Leadership Academy’s Orchestra, playing the trombone and also joining the jazz band.

Away from music, the emerging actress also tried her hands at some sporting activities, including tennis, touch rugby, and cricket where she served as the academy’s cricket captain during her student days.

Coming into the acting field, she started from stage performances and recorded a handful of appearances before the Gomora role came calling. She was part of the Coba Wilsenach directed drama, I Am an Emotional Creature, created by Eve Ensler. The David Mamet created play named Race which also came from the directorial portfolio of Coba Wilsenach featured her on set, and she appeared in the Andrew Buckland directed drama, Vuk’ucave.

Siphesihle Ndaba’s First Onscreen Role Shot Her To Fame

Siphesihle Ndaba’s career in the acting field started taking shape from her student days at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Speaking about her school, Ndaba said having two art subjects was made compulsory for every student, and she chose to go with drama and dance which has done a lot in her career life. While still a third-year student in 2018, she debuted as a director as her play Skinned was shown at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

Ndaba struck gold in March 2020 when she emerged successful at the auditions for the role of Mazet in Gomora. The role is arguably her first on-screen role but that notwithstanding, she was cast as one of the leads. Mazet was portrayed as a dangerous but gorgeous young lady from Alexandra who draws a male character named Ntobeko into a world filled with crime.

The telenovela debuted on the 30th of March 2020, and going by popular opinion, it has already overtaken The Queen, emerging as DStv’s most-watched television series. The series has continued to gather momentum despite the challenges experienced during production because of the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the cast needed to observe social distancing rules at that time.

This feat was made possible thanks to the stellar cast of the series that includes Katlego Danke, Zolisa Xaluva, and Siyabonga Xaba. First-time onscreen entertainers like Siphesihle Ndaba grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has leveraged it in showcasing her great talent. Needless to mention, Ndaba’s remarkable skills, her welcoming physical appearance, and natural grace has earned the actress an astounding number of fans.

Siphesihle Revealed Why She Wanted To Depict The Mazet Character

When quizzed on why she auditioned for the Mazet role in Gomora, Siphesihle Ndaba said reading the character’s bio set her mind on the role. Her reasons are that she loves having her abilities pushed and challenged and a perusal of the bio revealed that Mazet would do exactly that. The actress said she may be different from Mazet but that is the beauty of the performing arts where you take that step out of your character and wear someone else’s shoes.

Going further, the Gomora actress narrated how it helps one in empathizing and viewing the world from a brand new perspective. According to Ndaba, what attracted her to Mazet was the fact that the young lady never entertained any fear in being her real self and the character was the type she has never played or explored before then.

Siphesihle Ndaba further added that she loves the fact that the producers wrote Mazet as strong and powerful yet very vulnerable to her loved ones. She doesn’t joke with people that are close to her heart, functioning as their problem solver and a go-getter. Mazet, according to the actress, knows exactly what she wants from life and goes all out to get it, damming all consequences. Even though Ndaba confesses to not agreeing with Mazet’s method of achieving her set goals, she admires that attitude that screams “won’t stop until I get it”.

Ndaba May Differ From Her Mazet Character But They Also Have A Lot In Common

Siphesihle Ndaba may be all shades of criminality and all things shady on the set of Gomora, but in real life, the Joburg-born actress is far removed from shadiness. Ndaba describes herself as a shy girl that had to step out of her comfort zone to portray the character of Mazet. Sitting comfortably in Mazet’s lifestyle and dialogue, the actress confirmed it was a huge feat that took extra effort to achieve.

The SA entertainer, who has been described by many as refreshingly down to Earth, also agrees that she has some things in common with Mazet even though they differ in their approaches to life. According to Ndaba, they spent their formative years in similar circumstances; raised in the urban areas with their growing up years fraught with a lot of social-economic difficulties. Ndaba confesses to loving Mazet’s stripped-down and raw disposition.

On whether her Mazet role reshaped her perspective of the world, the actress answered that it has taught her how to be fearless, go in pursuit of the things she wants when she wants them, and trust her instincts to lead her aright.

She Speaks on Why Fans Fell In Love With Her Mazet Role

Initially, Siphesihle Ndaba said she never expected viewers to like Mazet because of her villainous character and the way she lured an innocent man into crime. However, looking deeper into her character, people realized that there is more to the girl’s actions than what is perceived at the onset of the first season.

With that insight, the South African viewing public came to see Mazet as a mirror image of themselves; highly driven and on the lookout for a better tomorrow. People came to empathize with her as they saw their own experience with the financial plight and the struggle to overcome it reflected in Mazet’s character.

Ndaba also said Mazet’s strong female character was another reason that endeared her to fans; she comes across as calculated, confident, and efficient in damage control. Mazet has the knack to think on her feet just to have every problem fixed. Besides, her tendency to be protective towards her loved ones is another plus for Mazet as it makes her sound like someone you would want to be part of your life.

The Actress Faced Challenges On the Set Of Mazet But Still Excelled Beyond Expectations

Viewers who have watched Siphesihle Ndaba give expression to the character of Mazet in Gomora did well in praising the actress for her stellar performance. However, what we don’t know is that Ndaba had to face quite a few challenges in bringing the character to life.
First, Mazet spoke a different version of Zulu from Siphesihle who speaks isiZulu as both her parents hail from Kwa Zulu Natal. Thus, the actress had to go learn some township Zulu and Tsotsi taal which was a lot of work, but she needed to do it if she wants to depict Mazet authentically.

Even with all the challenges of going to research on a different language, Ndaba proved that she is worth her weight in gold by not just pulling it off, but doing it so magnificently well that she is today regarded as one of the best characters in Gomora.

Siphesihle Ndaba Has Not Yet Been Linked With Any Man

Since she gained prominence portraying Mazet in Gomora, fans have been expecting to hear the details of Siphesihle Ndaba’s love life but none seems to be forthcoming; no past romance and definitely no present one. People have since come to the conclusion that the Joburg-born entertainer is single. However, there are still those that believe she is involved in a relationship but keeping it under lock and key.