Getting to know Nondumiso Tembe
Multitalented actress and musician Nondumiso Tembe tells us about her life, times and aspirations.

What are you currently working on?
I'm developing a production based on a Greek tragedy that I want to take on tour around the world. I’m also busy writing my first screenplay, which is very different from writing songs. It’s kind of kicking my butt! But it’s coming along and I’m getting to hone my writing skills. There’s also a really beautiful South African film project I’m hoping to be a part of, but nothing’s confirmed just yet, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

What did you learn from watching your parents’ careers?
Although my parents are incredibly successful, they never sought fame and fortune. They rose to prominence as artists because of their dedication to their craft, their pursuit of excellence, their business savvy and integrity, and by staying true to themselves. I learnt the importance of using your platform of success to build and empower your community.

What are your ingredients for a great party?
A good braai, good wine, warm weather and good company.

Are you involved in any theatre currently?
We’ve just opened David Mamet’s provocative new play, Race, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. I took the role of Susan, a fiercely intelligent, mysterious young lawyer. It was an incredible play and we had a stellar cast.

How did you enjoy working on DStv’s M-Net Series channel’s True Blood?
It was amazing – one of my most meaningful professional experiences. I’m very grateful for the opportunity. It’s great to have a multiple-episode arc on a show and a real journey for your character.

Was playing the role of Mavis challenging?
Mavis was very emotionally draining; we shot long hours and very intense scenes. But the directors all gave me a lot of artistic freedom and I love having that as an actress. Coming from a background on stage, I relish every opportunity I get to hone my camera craft.

What are South Africans unlikely to know about you?
I think people are very surprised by how goofy, tomboyish and low-key I am. I love to laugh and I’m not a glamorous person at all – I don’t like the hype.

What’s the advantage of pursuing a career in the performing arts in the USA?
Because you’re working with people who are at the very top of their fields internationally, your tools have to stay sharp. The standards are high and the competition tough, so you consistently push yourself to do your very best. I strive for excellence in everything I do and I’m very hard on myself, so I thrive in an environment where I’m challenged and hungry.

Top beauty tips
Jenny Pillay, owner of Durban’s Aqua Spa, where Tembe hosted a girls’ day out, gives us her tips for keeping your manis and pedis fresh.

1. Invest in a good cuticle oil to nourish cuticles – a must-have for any lady’s handbag!
2. Purchase a good base coat and use good-quality nail varnish to protect nails and retain colour longer.
3. Investing in a good treatment to counter signs of ageing on hands and feet, as they’re more exposed than we realise.
4. Have regular treatments by professionals at an approved spa to keep your hands and feet in top shape for summer.

To read the full version of this story go to page 174 of the September issue of DESTINY