SA actress, film producer and motivational speaker, Sophie Ndaba, returns to her beloved Bulawayo

SA actress, film producer and motivational speaker, Sophie Ndaba, returns to her beloved Bulawayo

Business and inspiration collide on May 18 as South African actress, film producer, mental health advocate and motivational speaker, Sophie Ndaba, returns to her beloved Bulawayo.

She joins the inaugural Esteemed Businesswomen Zimbabwe (EBZ) Conference as a keynote speaker, inspiring women to build resilience in the face of adversity. The event is organised by entrepreneur, founder, and conference host Sipho Mazibuko. The mission of EBZ is to equip women with essential entrepreneurial skills and foster a dynamic networking platform for professional growth and business expansion.

Sophie Ndaba transformation

Policymakers, business leaders, regulatory authorities and representatives from the creative and entrepreneurial sectors are anticipated to attend, offering valuable insights and perspectives to participants.

Renowned for her portrayal of Queen Moroka in the popular South African soapie Generations, as well as her roles in movies like She is King and Gog’ Hellen, Ndaba is a powerful advocate for mental health and overcoming personal struggles.

Having battled depression stemming from diabetes and societal challenges, she has emerged as an example of resilience and restoration. In response to the stigma surrounding her illness, she took a temporary social media break. This act of self-care allowed her to confront her hardships head-on, maintaining her unwavering determination to fight for her life – all hallmarks of an individual with an indomitable spirit.

In an exclusive interview from her Johannesburg base in South Africa, Ndaba expressed her excitement to be returning “home” to Bulawayo.
“I’m happy to be coming back home. I’m always in Zimbabwe. I might have been born in South Africa but literally, Zimbabwe is my home as I was raised in Zimbabwe. Reconnecting with Sipho Mazibuko after a decade was a pleasant surprise and exciting to know that somebody still remembers you from way back in the day. It means that our previous encounter had animpact and gave a meaningful reason to reconnect. I’m super excited to be reconnecting with her,” she said.
Ndaba’s journey began in Zimbabwe, where she called the neighbourhoods of Morningside in Bulawayo and Eastlea in Harare her home. Her educational path was carved at Montrose High School, an institution that contributed to her formidable character. With Zimbabwean heritage flowing through her veins, courtesy of her maternal grandfather, Ndaba’s identity is deeply rooted in Zimbabwe.

Affectionately known as Queen Sophie, she embodies the resilience of steel. Life has tested her with trials that would falter many, yet she stands unwavering. Amid the turmoil of separation from her spouse, the bizarre ordeal of being erroneously declared deceased on multiple occasions, battles with depression and the challenges of diabetes, Ndaba has emerged stronger. Her spirit, imbued with optimism and a profound sense of spirituality, perceives each obstacle not as a setback but as a hidden blessing.

“As a child of God, I believe that we are born for greatness and every circumstance is a blessing in disguise. I have been knocked down quite a lot and I’m not rebranding because I’m already a brand but the difference is, I’m already levelling up to a higher level as a wiser individual.
“Going through depression was part of the process. It wasn’t my future but gave me time to be in my little corner and introspect, regroup and go to a higher level. So, Mazibuko and I have something in common with regards to that just as women fighting for mental health advocacy, freedom for women in marriages.
“Mental health is a big issue among women in marriages and women need to be deliberate in outlining their love language, so that they don’t get trampled on physically and psychologically. My engagement with women at the conference will be to caucus on how we can avoid situations that will leave us depressed and to share experiences as a grouping,” she said.

The “Queen Moroka” might be in the rear view mirror but to Ndaba, royalty is the lifeblood of her very existence, embracing it as her daily. After her stint with SABC 1’s Generations masses missed her on their screens and wondered where she went and Ndaba said she spent her time engaged in philanthropic work.
Ndaba was surely born for the small screen as evidenced in her work behind the camera and as a film producer.
“I’m mostly known as an actress but I’m now moving into the producing space. Yes, I will still act when a great opportunity arises but I’m now focused on production of films,” she said.

In May, Queen Sophie said, she will be featured on a Showmax special production that she wouldn’t get into much detail about due to a non-disclosure agreement.
The health-conscious foodie makes it a point to try out different cuisines and attests her love for food to exposure.
“I love food and this has been necessitated by my exposure as a travelled individual. I also love sitting at home, lounging, watching television, cooking and chilling with family. I love cooking and if I had ample time, I would cook three times a day,” she said.
Ndaba shared words of advice to would-be actresses: “For you to succeed, you need to put in the time, work, drive, commitment. It works all together for the success for whatever it is that you do in life.”

With over two decades of acting under her belt, Ndaba has stood the test of time and businesswomen are set to learn from her when she touches base in Zimbabwe.


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