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Ntombi & Vuyiswa Take Us #BTS Of Netflix Jiva!

Actress Candice Modiselle plays Vuyiswa while Noxolo Dlamini plays the lead role of Ntombi

BY Naledi K

Jun 30, 2021, 04:55 PM

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After a lot of hype and excitement on social media, Netflix’s Jiva finally premiered last Friday and it got nothing but great reviews so far. As the lead actors of the entertaining dance series enjoy the unending praise from fans and peers alike, two of the lead actresses Candice Modiselle and Noxolo Dlamini have opened up about how intimidated they were to play their respective roles.

Candice Modiselle - who has starred in a lot of big local productions including Generations: The Legacy and The Queen, plays Vuyiswa while Noxolo Dlamini who has been making moves in the theatre space plays the lead role of Ntombi.

The pair got to chatting with YAZA, about the whole process that saw them audition and later bag the role for one of the most critically acclaimed Netflix original projects. 27-year-old Candice said she originally received the brief about Jiva from my agent and she auditioned for the role of Nolwazi (played by Zazi Kunene) however they asked her to audition for Vuyiswa.

“I was initially intimidated because it required me to speak a language that I was not necessarily familiar with, which is Zulu. As a Tswana speaking woman, I had to then take on the massive task of auditioning for the role of Vuyiswa. However, thank God that it was an 80/20 and I could lean more towards the language I was comfortable in and I could offer Vuyiswa as a very eloquent English speaking role.”

Candice said she loved playing the loud and proud Black young lady, who even though she has struggles she’s navigating through goes through life looking like anything but her problems.

The lead actress, who is also 27 years old and hails from Soweto, explained that she went through a similar journey in that the call for her to audition for Ntombi was a “last minute” thing.

Noxolo auditioned for two roles that she didn’t get. After getting a call back for the role of Zinhle, the director changed his mind about which role she would be most suited for. That’s when she first breathed life into Ntombi but she admits that she was also intimidated by the lead role.

“I was a bit intimidated considering that she needed to be born and bred in Durban, which I’m not from but also needs to be a staunch Zulu girl, which I am Zulu but just not as staunch as they had hoped I would be. But I soon found that I actually had it in me when I was given the role of Ntombi and later was able to play it.”
While she’s been carving out a career in the arts for years, Ntombi is Noxolo’s first lead role on TV and actually her second-ever television role.

“Ntombi is going through a change in her life and in who she is and trying to find who she truly is. Really she’s trying to move away from being the good girl that listens to her mom and does what her mom says and actually following her heart and doing what she wants to do. She is quirky and fun but she’s also going through a lot. I think we see how she really tries to navigate her way - with all the other actors - through the situations that she’s faced with. I think she’s the kind of character that everyone will be able to relate to, she’s the girl next door.”

If you haven't watch Jiva! yet, hurry up and click here. It's totally worth it!