Imagine this: You've just entered a blissful chapter of your life. You've recently started your dream job as a doctor and you're engaged to the man of your dreams.
As you take a trip to the Eastern Cape with your fiancé to celebrate your love, you faint. When you wake up, you're transported back in time to the 1800s. That's exactly what happens to Khosi (played by Sikelewa Vuyeleni) in the telenovela 1802: Love Defies Time.
Caught in a different era, Khosi is forced to navigate the unfamiliar customs, beliefs, and challenges of the 19th century. Something extraordinary happens though: she falls in love with a prince, and it's a love that transcends time.
Sikelelwa, who effortlessly breathes life into the complexities of Khosi, lifts the lid on her latest character.
First things first, modern-world Khosi or "1802 Khosi"?
This is such an unfair question and comparison. I love all of her versions, but if there was a gun held to my head, I'd go with modern-world Khosi because 1802 Khosi is a gowist [going through the most].
What was your approach in preparing for a period piece which features fantasy and mythology?
I had to understand that the character has a journey to travel, especially in the 1800s. I strayed away from overpreparing for the ancient world to leave room to be surprised by the new experiences Khosi goes through.
How did you go about building the chemistry with Khosi and Zuko, and what was it like working with your co-star in those scenes?
Unfortunately, Khosi and Zuko (Vuyolwethu Ngcukana) didn't have a lot of time together to build chemistry. We meet them mid-love story and right as we get to know them, they are ripped apart. We definitely had the pressure of having to feel like an old couple with the few scenes we shared before Khosi is taken to the 1800s. We worked with great communication and understanding of our story and characters and figured it out together with each scene. It felt quite easy because we were both receptive to their journey.
Were there any particular historical or cultural references that you drew inspiration from to inform your portrayal of Khosi and her world?
Khosi and I have similar lives – we are quite modern and young. Because life in the 1800s is new for her, I watched a historical Xhosa series on YouTube. However, I kept [watching the show] minimal to have Khosi experience the past times as truthful as possible.
What do you hope viewers will take away from watching 1802: Love Defies Time?
I hope they see a part of themselves in the story. The series wants us to not forget who we are, and we should remember our roots to keep ourselves grounded and always know how we got here without losing what was or who we were before now.
Tune into 1802: Love Defies Time, Mondays-Wednesdays at 20:30 on 1Magic (DStv Channel 103).