Busi Mtshali on acting, her purpose & why Covid-19 was a 'punch in the gut'

01 June 2020 - 06:00 By Chrizelda Kekana
"Lockdown' star Busisiwe Mtshali opened up about what makes her a great actress.
"Lockdown' star Busisiwe Mtshali opened up about what makes her a great actress.
Image: Instagram/Busisiwe Mtshali

Lockdown actress Busisiwe Mtshali has described acting as her life's purpose, and believes it is a ministry of sorts.  

In an interview with TshisaLIVE, Busi explained what acting meant to her and how it contributed to her life's purpose.

"The stage is my pulpit. I believe performing is a ministry of sort. There's something so powerful about being able to represent somebody's life truthfully and giving them an outlet.

"I think, especially for the black community, we don't really talk about our pains or tragedies or really going within the self. For many of us the only way we can kind of have a purging of emotions is through the characters we engage with or relate to through television productions. . That is why I love acting. I am able to be a like a distant therapist."

The actress said sadly the role of the artist remained undermined in Mzansi, and the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the extent to which artists are neglected, even though they serve the nation with their art.

Busisiwe opened up about a personal "punch in the gut" for her as the lockdown in SA was imposed.

"The lowest low for me since the lockdown began was losing a 10-week job. Booking a 10-week job as a freelancer is a very long time to have work, and it is rare. To lose that opportunity was a huge punch in the gut for me." 

The actress has previously praised actor and director Mandla N for the role he played in her career by giving her her first role, and never giving up on helping her to perfect her craft. She said the industry was a better place because people like him existed.

One of the most memorable scenes for her fans is from a Mandla N production, Lockdown, when she left Mzansi in tears as she wept for her on-screen mother.

Busi explained how it took a lot out of her to bring the character, Nkuli, to life.

"Nkuli really pushed me and I really loved playing her because of the mother-daughter dynamic. But more than that it also burst my bubble and made me realise just how hectic other people's stories are. It was like a whole new world. The prison, the raw kind of storyline she had to explore. To love her mother so deeply and in the same breath to have so much hate for her," she said.

The actor said integrity, loyalty and honesty were her pillars in life and she was certain that they, together with hard work, were the reasons she has been working successfully in an otherwise tough industry.