The Arts and Entertainment industry in South Africa is blessed with incredible talent, and while other provinces like the North West, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal are buzzing with creativity, it is often difficult for creatives to get a breakthrough due to the limited opportunities outside of Guateng.
Attesting to that is Slindile Shozi (26), affectionately known as Slizaza KaGidela, a songwriter, theatre performer, poet and aspiring singer who after many years is still hustling to get her breakthrough.
Born in KwaXimba in Cato Ridge (KZN) Slizaza describes herself as an open book and says that she is not afraid to express her feelings. Those closest to the artist describe her as one of the strongest people they know, because of the many challenges she’s had to face, yet still manages to rise above them.
The passionate artist began her theatre career in 2005 when she was cast in a community stage production where she played the role of a sangoma. Although she was still young at the time, she says that she was amazed by the response which the audience gave. This propelled her to pursue her acting career and harness her talent through auditioning for various roles in a number of community theatre plays. Some of the plays in which she was featured include, The Betrayal Musical, Thokola Themba and Igazi.
Her own definition of an artist is a creative individual who uses their mind, soul, hands, emotions, body and voice to make a difference in their community, or even the world. She says that KZN has a plethora of talent, but admits that that comes with stiff competition, more-so in the acting industry, as there are limited opportunities. It is for this reason that she has made the decision to focus mostly on her theatre career, as she believes that it is the best way to kick-start her Television acting career.
“I do love TV a lot but it isn’t easy to get in as many people think. Casting agencies want to represent people with experience so theatre is the best way to gain experience. It grooms you, sharpens you and it also disciplines you,” she explains.
Talking about the major challenges that young artists face in pursuit of their big break, Slizaza says that the biggest is being taken advantage of from those who want to feed off an artist’s desperation. As actors and actresses, they are constantly approached by scammers who host auditions, claiming to be representatives of big production houses.
”They would sometimes want money from us just because they know how desperate we are and they certainly know how hard it is to get to the top with those who have made it in the industry,” she adds.
In spite of all these setbacks, Slindile strongly believes that her time will come. In the next five years, she sees herself as a successful television actress, presenter and a radio personality. She also wants to produce and direct her own television series.
Interact with her on Socia Media. She is Slizaza Kagidela on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter: @Slizaza_www and she’s also available on mobile: +27 71 782 4912
~ Thabile Shange