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"This storyline challenged me as an actress" - Zimkhitha Nyoka

Nandipha Pantsi |
17 November 2016

Gold Diggers actress Zimkhitha Nyoka tells us how she worked through an uncomfortable storyline. Gold Diggers, weekdays at 8PM. 

When a man offers her financial aid in exchange for sex, Olwethu feels she has no choice.

We caught up with the actress behind Olwethu, Zimkhitha Nyoka and picked her brain on the troubling storyline. 

Q: We cringed when Olwethu had sex with a man who promised to help her get into university. How easy or difficult is this storyline for you

A: Olwethu and I are growing up together, so I’m very attached to her and what she goes through. This storyline challenged me greatly as an actress, but I took all the discomfort and awkwardness I felt, and I put it into the character to make all the emotions as real as possible. 

Q: Do you identify with Olwethu’s university struggle in any way?

A: I can definitely relate because we went through similar experiences. My parents are retired teachers so when I was in high school, I tried very hard to get a bursary so that they wouldn’t have to worry about my fees, but it didn’t work out. So I understand how difficult it can be trying to get into university when you don’t have the money for it.  

Q: This storyline is very connected to the Fees Must Fall movement that has taken the country by storm. What is your opinion on it?

I’m definitely for the Fees Must Fall movement, but at the same time I wonder how it would work with our economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to get tertiary education, but to say that government should make it free for everyone seems unrealistic. But I agree that government should be making provisions to get more people into universities, even if it’s not everyone. 

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- © Nandipha Pantsi