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Viola the woman behind 'The Herbalist' – Ubuntu

11 December 2019
Viola Banda embodies a larger-than-life mystic powerhouse on one of the country’s biggest shows. Below is a glimpse of the REAL woman bringing the character of ‘The Herbalist’ to life…
The Herbalist Billboard 1600 x 640

ZM: Viola, the character you play is deeper than just ‘The Herbalist’ of the throne of Ubuntu. Tell us more about that.  

VIOLA: So true! I play Langiwe, a multi-layered character in touch with her spiritual side who is Queen Chawezi’s sister and also, ultimately, the protector of the throne of Ubuntu.

ZM: Tell us more about these ‘layers’ …

VIOLA: Langiwe is the younger sister of Queen Chawezi who is forced to do things that are against the 7 laws of Ubuntu. Although a happy, carefree person when you first meet her, a series of unfortunate events unfold in her life, costing her that happiness.  Ultimately, she knows that she will have to gather her courage and rebel against her manipulative sister (The Queen) and a system that suppresses her.

ZM: You seem very invested in this role?

VIOLA: I am looking forward to growing Langiwe to big heights.

ZM: It seems that Langiwe’s story resonates deeply with you. Why is that? And why is her story important for you to bring to life?

VIOLA: Many people live their lives in the definitions created by others. Many people, especially women have sacrificed their own happiness and health to please everyone around them. And I believe this is why the flawed and somewhat naïve Langiwe has touched me, and why she will gain a soft spot in the viewer’s hearts.

ZM: Let’s talk about your personal journey as an actress.

VIOLA: I initially appeared in the Zambezi Magic production - Zuba in Season 1, where I played the character Maliya in 2017. Another role I played was that of Pamela in Calamity Season 1 earlier this year (2019).

ZM: How did you get into Ubuntu?

VIOLA: I got a call from someone who invited me to audition. I got to the audition room and it was intense. The whole process was so intimidating, but I was confident and [felt] sure that I would be selected to the next level. Which I did! I got the role!

ZM: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?

VIOLA: I’m into Charity work: I run an NGO called ‘Heart to Heart’ that deals with broken women and girls.

ZM: Interesting! Finally, What makes you You?

VIOLA: I believe [that] hard work pays off. [Also] that when you believe in yourself you can achieve anything. Third and most importantly, God.


Ubuntu airs Monday-Wednesday at 21:30 on DStv Channel 162. Make sure you don't miss a minute of this riveting local drama, nor the characters that make it an African tour-de-force!