Thabisile Zikhali returning to 'Isitha: The Enemy' and 'Uzalo' but with major character twists

Published May 10, 2024


Actress Thabisile Zikhali has captured the hearts of audiences with her performances on-screen and continues to be a talent to watch in the entertainment industry.

Zikhali will be on the popular television show ‘Isitha: The Enemy’ on eTV for the first time. Her character on SABC1's 'Uzalo' is set to have a major twist.

On ‘Uzalo’, Zikhali portrayed the character of Constable Biyela, but she teases that her character will no longer be the honourable officer viewers have come to love.

It is not the actress' first time working on Mandla N's BlackBrain Pictures, which is behind 'Isitha: The Enemy', a rebranding of 'The Black Door'.

Zikhali portrayed a sex worker on 'The Black Door' but she is playing a different character this time.

The international multi-award-winning actress is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. She's appeared in ‘The Queen’, ‘Rockville’, ‘Black Door ‘and ‘Alleyway’ a movie.

Zikhali credits the late Shona Ferguson for giving her first major role on ‘The Queen’ as it opened the door for other productions to cast her.

The 30-year-old’s dedication, hard work, and outgoing personality have propelled her to great heights in the entertainment industry.

With the entertainment industry being so cut-throat and many people wanting to make it, Zikhali says that it is a blessing for someone to grant you that life-changing opportunity.

“I'm a woman of faith and in everything that I do within the industry, I make sure that God is visible. There are a lot of jobs that I have booked because of God, my humbleness and my ability to work with people.

“Apart from having talent, you need to have respect and be humble, cause no one wants to work with a talented diva, and the industry is full of talented divas that aren't getting booked.”

South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy and while the entertainment industry is older, there is still a long way to go for the sector. “My hope for the next 30 years is for the government to respect the arts sector.

“There is nothing as painful as an artist getting 25% taxed monthly; you are not always working, going to auditions and not getting hired. When you do get hired, it’s been a while since you last booked a gig, you need to pay your agent fee, still pay tax and you haven’t worked in a while.

“My wish is for the government to respect us as artists and take our jobs seriously. If I am treated unfairly at work I should have rights. As artists we don't have rights, we can be unfairly dismissed. It’s not as formal as other jobs.”

Zikhali attended the Duma Ndlovu Academy, and she recalls how the drama school is meant for individuals with degrees in acting. However, they took a chance on her despite not having a degree in acting.

“It was so hard for me, I’ll be honest. They do say that you need to have a degree in acting, the academy just adds to your knowledge. I was so clueless, I learnt acting on set, attending acting workshops.”

Recalling her first production ‘Alleyway’ which is on Amazon Prime, Zikhali admits it was a learning experience and made mistakes as she filmed.

“I thank God that the production gave me an opportunity. When I watch it now; I say that these people took a chance on me because I knew nothing. But you need those people who will believe in you so that you can learn.

“What I love about my journey more than anything is that with every show you can see the growth. You compare 'The Queen' and ‘Rockville’, you see a difference and with ‘Rockville’ and ‘The Black Door’ there is a huge difference.

“Even though I don’t have a degree in acting you can see the passion, dedication and talent, as I continue to grow.”

Zikhali is not only making waves in South Africa but also in Africa, she won and been nominated for awards in Nigeria and Zambia. In 2022 she won the Best New Actor Award at the Scream Awards in Nigeria.

“The greatest thing is that the awards started with Nigeria and it showed me that I am appreciated not just in South Africa but also in Africa. People, even outside of Africa, recognize and appreciate my work.

“I have fans in Tanzania, I don’t even know how. I’ve never even set foot in Nigeria and yet I have such a strong fan base.”

Zikhali has become a shining star, an acting credit to show, and an impressive social media presence with a following of over 171,000 on Instagram.

Beyond acting, Thabisile wears many hats - a businesswoman with a modelling promotions agency and works in farms -poultry and cattle.

Zikhali is getting ready to open her beauty salon, where she will be providing all beauty services. Sparked by her frustration of having to drive to multiple locations just to get her hair, lashes and nails done.

With her beauty salon, she wants to take away the hassle and time-wasting that comes with getting ready for those big Golliwood events.

‘Isitha: The Enemy’ airs Mondays to Fridays at 9.30pm on and ‘Uzalo’ on SABC1 at 20.30pm.

IOL Entertainment