Mzansi Celebs

Nomzamo Mbatha opens up on childhood traumas & failing at University

Popular South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha who is now causing headlines through new hit drama series, Shaka Ilembe was interviewed on Radio 702 on 12 July and opened up about childhood traumas and how her self-esteem and education were affected later on in life.

South African award-winning actress, executive producer, and TV presenter Nomzamo Mbatha has come a long way from the little girl from KwaMashu Township. She got candid about her life with Radio 702 presenter, Relebongile Mabotja on The Upside of Failure.

The 33-year-old explained that she worked on herself during the Covid-19 pandemic as she got to reparent her inner child. Mbatha said that although she felt loved as a child, she doesn’t feel that she received the necessary emotional support as a child. Her father died when she was 14 years old, and she recalled stepping in to become his primary caregiver before he died.

Nomzamo Mbatha

“Those things being thrust upon you as a child will affect you. Your childhood is stolen in a way” she said.

Mbatha recalled being invited to attend school functions due to her excellent performance at school. She says the paradox of being looked at so highly by her peers at the time, and then having to take a taxi or a bus after the events was so humbling for her. While other students drove home with their families, she would have to use public transport with her mother because they didn’t own a car at her home.

But, because Nomzamo Mbatha was an A student in high school, she was afforded the opportunity to attend the University of Cape Town (UCT). Little did she know that the world that she knew would shift once more.

“I think UCT for me was a very tough period. The first year at UCT was extremely hard…Number one, I was there on bursaries, so, I am surrounded by kids whose parents are paying. I have to perform to stay there, and if I don’t, it gets taken away,” she recalled.

Nomzamo Mbatha

Mbatha told herself that she would try her best to do well in university so she didn’t have to return to the township. She said that it was the first time she truly felt insecure as she was surrounded by students that came from a better background than hers.

“I failed…I had four or five distinctions coming out of high school… everyone is happy for you… you are the duck scholar…You have this full scholarship…Everyone has contributed to this dream, and when you get there, it’s the first time you get 35 percent in your life,” she said.

Mbatha was ashamed of her new reality and even remembered lying to her family when they’d call to check how her studies were going.

“It felt like my world was ending… I say this all the time, outside of being in the business of believing in myself, I’ve been in the business of saving my life – for as long as I can remember,” she added.

Nomzamo Mbatha

Mbatha said she didn’t know herself and felt swallowed by the university.

“I think I just lost my footing,” she concluded.

And, now as an adult, to commemorate the late former South African president Nelson Mandela on his birthday, the award-winning actress returned to her township, this time with the Cotton On Foundation, and planted native trees throughout the Dr JL Dube High School in KwaMashu, EWN reported.


In other news – WATCH: Actress Zandile Msutwana goes live on Instagram for the first time

Popular Mzansi actress Zandile Msutwana hosted her first-ever Instagram live and was surprised by what she saw there. She is one of the finest actresses in South Africa, and many fans love her for the quality she always gives.

Zandile Msutwana

She has featured in the country’s top dramas like The Queen, Society, and Gqeberha: The Empire. Despite being that good and having so many followers, Zandile is not a fan of Instagram. Learn More

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