DStv Women’s Month Roundtable

Highlights

Zikhona Sodlaka, Nadia Beukes, Siphesihle Ndaba & Jay Anstey tell all

DStv Women’s Month Roundtable

As South Africa continues to commemorate Women's Month, DStv invited local Actresses Zikhona Sodlaka (Detective Cebekhulu in DiepCity), Nadia Beukes, Siphesihle Ndaba (MaZet in Gomora) and Jay Anstey (Lexie in Legacy) to discuss their experiences working in the entertainment industry.

It was a lively discussion filled with laughter and the fab four pointing at each other in excitement at those moments of connection and recognition. 

Curious about what else they had to say? Keep reading...

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Nadia: Being a mom, it's sometimes difficult to juggle everything. In the entertainment industry we are not always 100% supported as parents. The hours are very difficult. You won't get paid maternity leave. And the production always comes first. There has to be some sort of midway, especially with opportunities, because as soon as you’re in a certain stage of your life, you don't necessarily get all the opportunities because you're not as flexible. But you come with other benefits. Those opportunities need to equalize.

Zikhona: In-between takes on set, genuinely, I have to take 25 minutes, every 1 hour and a half, to sit and pump (breast milk). It’s the small things that we need to introduce, from the smallest one to the big one. So that we can get to a point where people can have paid leave.

Jay: Our supervising producer (Candice Tennant) is a female, everybody (on Legacy’s production staff) is female. So when all the myriads of people on set phone in and go, “Oops, sorry. I'm also pregnant.” They go “Congrats! Okay, you don't need to worry about dressing like this or that. You just keep doing your thing. We’ll worry about that.” We are lucky!

Siphesihle: I saw on this casting thing it said, “Black girl, whatever, whatever,” And it said “fit” In my mind I said, “What is fit?” I know of thick women who are fit. They’re just not size 28. And I know of people who’re size 28 who get out of breath from walking up a flight of stairs. Just say what you want to say. Say you want a skinny girl.

Zikhona: They say fit and I’m there in my tights, and they go, “Haah!” (dubiously). The fittest girl in the world is Serena Wiliams and she looks nothing like the stereotypical fit girl.

Siphesihle: Then because men aren’t sexualised like women are, it's easier for men to do intimate scenes. But if a woman says, “Listen, I'm uncomfortable with that scene,” then she's difficult to work with. I had to shoot something and I was like, “Why?” And they were like, “You have to do it because it’s scripted.” Cool, I shot it, and then it didn’t get in the final cut. And I’m like, “I told you this!”

Nadia: Why do they do that?!? It doesn’t add to the story. It doesn’t have a reason. I even hate watching that. I’m like, “Why is this in here?” So, you have to do that and experience that on set and you get so traumatised and it’s not even in the final cut!

Jay: My worst is when intimate scenes are added that don’t serve a purpose. This is a new thing that I’m going through now because I’m having to do a love scene. It’s nowhere near as bad as [what I've seen elsewhere], but it’s so weird! I feel so strange about things. 

Zikhona: There’s still a high percentage of places where it's very different, and you just have to be naked. But there are some male directors who are pretty awesome, too. I was shooting an African epic (which is coming soon) and I found out I was four months pregnant. The director’s a male and I was just like, “Ah, man, I know people were naked in the past but no more”. And he was like, “Yeah, cool”. So he made all the guys naked.

Nadia: There are people who understand! 

 

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