The comeback Queen


Brenda Ngxoli stars as NomaPrincess aka Noma on telenovela The Queen

There’s a new breeze blowing through the Khoza mansion, ruffling feathers from Wednesday, 2 September in hit Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) telenovela The Queen. She’s strong, resilient and not to be messed with. Meet NomaPrincess “Noma” Matshikiza, played by Brenda Ngxoli. She’s in town to make amends with her old friend – Midrand’s most notorious drug dealer, Harriet Khoza (Connie Ferguson).

If you sense awkward tension between Noma and Harriet, you’re not mistaken. The last time these women saw each other was 12 years ago. Noma convinced Harriet to give her a loan of R10 million for her construction company. Instead of returning the money with interest, Noma vanished into thin air. That is, until now. She’s back and looking rather dishevelled – and you know what that means: she won’t be settling her debt anytime soon.

Watch now on Catch Up

A friend in need

While Harriet might need the money, with her drug business crumbling, she could use a friend more. The drug lord has been grappling with grief and depression since her daughter, Kea (Dineo Langa), was killed in a car explosion in August this year. Noma could be the shoulder that Harriet desperately needs to lean on.

“Noma arrives with a whole lot of baggage. She has made plenty of mistakes, one being betraying Harriet, but at the end of the day, these women are friends. You will see two women who truly love and support each other,” reveals Brenda.

From the spotlight, to the kraal

Brenda’s big break was back in 2003 in local drama Tsha Tsha, playing ambitious hairstylist Mimi. Brenda went on to play track athlete Vuyo, who came from a dysfunctional family, in drama Home Affairs in 2005-2007, and Dineo on sitcom My Perfect Family in 2011. “With each character, I strive to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone,” says the actress. “One of my favourite things about acting is portraying diverse characters. These women are all different and face different struggles, which makes them special,” adds Brenda.

After more than a decade in showbiz, Brenda decided to retire from acting and start a livestock farm in the Eastern Cape in 2013. “I didn’t leave because there was any anger or remorse towards the entertainment industry. I’ve always wanted to start my own farm in the villages, so that’s what I did. I packed my bags and committed to taking care of my sheep, geese, cows and chickens. It was fun,” insists Brenda. As much as she enjoyed her new role on her farm, though, she still had an itch for acting, and she’d occasionally travel to Johannesburg to audition and film whenever she was offered a role.

The turning point came after playing Nomonde on iThemba in 2019, for which she won Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama at this year’s South African Film Awards (SAFTAs). Brenda realised that her job in the acting world wasn’t yet done. “I was speechless after I won. Here I was, thinking that I was done with acting, but I received an award. I’m constantly humbled by the love and support that I receive from fans and the industry as a whole.”

Together again

The Queen isn’t the first time that Brenda has acted alongside Connie Ferguson. She played gossipmonger Gladys on drama Rockville in 2014-2016, with Connie portraying Mavis. “It’s always an amazing experience working with Connie, not only as producer but an actress, too. She’s compassionate, dedicated to her work, and has a level of professionalism,” says Brenda.

Watch The Queen S5, weekdays on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 21:00. Also available on Catch Up.

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