Love My Jozi chatted to Ayanda Seoka, an actress, singer and writer based in Jozi. Ayanda Seoka is known for her roles in Dead Places (2021), Liberty (2018) and Sides of a Horn (2018). This is what the lovely Ayanda had to say.
LMJ: How would you describe yourself ?
Ayanda: “I would say I’m a very chilled person, I wasn’t always like that lol, but really I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m not about the drama, in fact, if its dramatic, count me out, unless I’m causing the drama hahaha.
Ok but honestly I would say hardworking, persistent, honest and fun. I have to have FUN, if there isn’t laughter and fun I am not doing it. Of course some situations are very serious and I love those too, but there must be moments of release. And I love my family and communication and honesty and respect are important to me.
LMJ: What did you study in order to pursue you career ?
Ayanda: “I studied accounting 1st, I did a B.Comm in accounting straight out of High School, 3 whole years with a gap year in between. I didn’t like it, I just wasn’t passionate about it. I then asked my mom to switch to what resonated with me more, so I still stayed at the same varsity and switch to a BA in Dramatic Arts, where I majored in Performance, Television Production and Screenwriting.
When I think about it, I never saw myself being an accountant, like actually doing the work, I only just imagined expensive suits and flashy cars, I just wanted to be rich hahahaha. So even then I was playing a role, you know?
LMJ: What attracted you to begin a career as an actor?
Ayanda: “This is funny, so I was always super jealous of the young stars on YOTV and KTV, jokes, not jealous but I was always glued to my screen and really just wanted to do what they were doing with every fibre in my body.
Even when I saw child actors on films and TV shows, I felt the same but I grew up in KZN so the TV world wasn’t accessible, so I did drama at school from when I was in primary school, but started acting before that in plays in Pre Primary School. Teachers always used to place me in lead roles, like Mary, in the Nativity plays. And I did Ballet and Tap dancing and Gymnastics in Primary and Pre Primary School.
I had a flash back a few years ago remembering a primary school concert where I covered my face for most of it, imagine me now? A whole actress!
I have always been shy though as a kid, even though I was super talkative and loud, even now, I get stupid nervous before performing theatre and before my 1st day on a set or for auditions, I almost want to run away, I always ask myself why I agreed to doing this, but then once I’m on stage, it’s heaven really!
LMJ: We know you are a multi talented person , what talents other than acting do you possess?
Ayanda: “I am also a Kundalini Yoga teacher, Performance Artist and Voice over artist. I have also made music and have a whole Vinyl out, under a Berlin based label Comeme, under my artist alias Mujaji The Rain.
My 1st try at music and it’s on Vinyl, so exciting! We even won Vinyl of the week in Groove Magazine and had write ups in prestigious magazines like Fact Mag.”
LMJ: What role have you most enjoyed playing and why?
Ayanda: “I’ve enjoyed all of the roles I’ve played, from the smallest to the biggest. What I fall in love with is creating that person and seeing them come to life. I enjoy all the steps, from learning and bringing to life the small things to the big things that make that person who they are.”
LMJ: Have you ever needed to and been able to cry on the spot?
Ayanda: “I have needed to and I have cried on the spot but I don’t find that as effective as people think it is. In real life people hardly cry, in public anyway, they fight it, coz its embarrassing and for other reasons too. I’d much rather watch an actor fight the urge to cry, that’s more powerful for me, that’s real.
LMJ: What life lessons has your career exposed you too?
Ayanda: “In my career I have learnt knowledge of self. There are a lot of things that are going to test who you are ethically and in many ways, and what your value system is, and how you respond to that needs you to have a solid knowledge of who you are, so you can be firm and clear but kind and professional.
And also knowledge of self in terms of what work honestly suits you, not because someone told you but because you are honest with yourself. I’d also say I’ve learnt to have more than one basket for your eggs, many talents, equals many streams of income and also to have some way of giving back to yourself, a way of refilling your cup, centering yourself and maybe giving back to others. So that when life is quite you don’t fall apart. For me its yoga and family. Making a name for yourself in Entertainment isn’t easy.”
LMJ: What words of wisdom can you share with those starting out on your path?
Ayanda: “Similar to what I said above, figure out what kind of work you want to do and what suits you and go for it, and go HARD. You’re going to hear many ‘NO’s, don’t let them get you down. Also don’t be afraid to change your mind and to reinvent yourself and to invest in yourself.
Don’t let anybody tell you you cant do this or that because of how you look, that must come from you. And when given an opportunity work hard and have good working relationships with people, those always pay off, repeat jobs and referrals come from those and you’ll want/need that.
LMJ: Are you active on social media and where can we follow you?
Ayanda – From us at Love My Jozi, thank you for taking the time to chat to us. We see you! The entire team wishes you the best in all that life may bring your way.
Enjoy reading our interviews? Why not read – Interview with Themba Robin – Laughter is the BEST Medicine! or Interview with Claire Rose – Vocalist and Love My Cape Town City Franchise Owner, too?