I remember watching an interview between Lerato Kganyago and Samkelo Ndlovu on the LKG Show, and thinking this girl knows her stuff. From that moment on Samkelo joined the likes of Zikhona Sodlaka, Mbali Ntuli and Nambitha Mpumlwana on my list of talented stars who are ignored by mainstream media but are the beacon for the future of talent and respect for the craft in this country.
Note: Due to the risqué nature of some of the pics in this article, reader discretion is advised.
On the LKG Show, Samkelo came across as this poised young lady who has toiled in this industry to get her spot. She had not yet gotten her dues but it was clear she is on her way to being respected as a performer.
She spoke eloquently about the love she has for the craft of acting. She spoke of how she draws her inspiration for portraying characters by observing regular humanbeings on how they behave and interact.
It was a powerful interview to watch because you could see that this girl is not just about the fame but she loves what she does and respects the process of bringing her art to life. I was enthralled by her words and inspired by her vision about the entertainment industry.
Turns out, that was just another performance by Ms Ndlovu. She talked a good talk but in reality she is just another fame hungry celebrity who will do anything to get attention.
Firstly it was the fake breakup with her ex boyfriend, Thomas Gumede on the Vuzu reality show, Forever Young. The two actors put on a performance on the show by pretending to still be an item and had a break up on camera when in "reality" the two had broken up long before the show was even shot.
Unfortunately that little stunt did very little for Samkelo's career. It got her a few Twitter mention but that was it.
Then came the lamest of all publicity stunts, her supposed relationship with a well known gay man in the industry, Japhta Mamabolo. If there was ever any ridiculously silly romance story in the history of SA tabloid media, that was it.
Sadly beyond a few gullible reporters falling for it and a furore of laughter from those who know that Japhta likes his a bit more masculine, the stunt did very little to make Samkelo an A-lister.
Now, in January 2014, Samkelo dropped another attempt at grabbing headlines. Ndlovu went to the lowest of the barrel to try and get some attention. She took her clothes off!!!
Unfortunetely, again, the move just screamed DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION and got her just a blurb on a Sunday tabloid paper. This is not Hollywood, nude pics do not really do much for a person's career. These kids watch too much Hollywood shows and forget that Mzansi has a totally different audience.
Samkelo undoubtedly has the talent. Why is she then so desperate to be a media fodder?
I understand that being an it girl has been lucrative for the likes of Minnie, Bonang, Boity and such. Perhaps she wants to be in that league and make money but if that is the case she is going about it the wrong way. These girls became who they are by having the right team behind them.
Bonang, Minnie, Pearl, Boity... these are not just celebrities, they are brands that is why they are able to attract endorsements and hosting gigs. That happens because they are signed with brand agencies that understand their potential as brands not just Casting Agencies.
If Samkelo's stunts are fuelled by a need to become an A-lister because of the attention she gets from the media then she just needs to get the right management team, who will manage her as a brand not just as an actress or celeb.
She does not need all these publicity stunts that erode her integrity as a talented performer. I know being a celeb costs money if you are not getting things for free. I know she may need to make some extra money without having to rely on infrequent acting gigs. I get it, but there is a better way to subsidise her income without these ridiculous stunts.
Judging by what I heard on that LKG interview, whether she was being fake or not, there is no denying that she is a smart, talented and a visionary. She just needs to channel all those attributes into the right direction. Her understanding of storytelling and the journey an actor has to take to bring a character to life would make her a great director.
Just put your clothes on, leave fake relationships and build a name for yourself with your talent and craft. Trust me, some of us know you have the chops for it.