WATCH: ‘Empini’ trailer reveals star-studded cast who will heat things up in the action-packed series

‘Empini’ actors Nambitha Ben-Mazwi and Siyabonga Thwala are ready for action. Picture: Supplied.

‘Empini’ actors Nambitha Ben-Mazwi and Siyabonga Thwala are ready for action. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 10, 2024


Winter nights are going to come with action-packed drama as Showmax dropped its trailer for “Empini”.

The local show, which is set to premiere on the streaming service on May 23, features an all-star cast.

They include Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, Siyabonga Thwala, Nqobile Sipamla, Owen Sejake and Charmaine Mtinta.

“Empini”is a 52-episode drama series which is set in the dangerous world of private security and according to Sipamla, the show will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

“‘Empini’ is an edgy show that will have viewers thoroughly entertained,” she said in a statement.

“It will showcase the intricate dynamics of how it is sometimes necessary that some secrets be kept for the safety of others, while, on the other hand, some secrets must come to light.”

Sipamla is no stranger to TV screens, having appeared in shows like “Ikhaya”, “Imbewu – The Seed”, “The Wife”, “Diep City”, “Abo Mzala”, “Ashes To Ashes”, “Shuga”, and “Home Affairs.

In “Empini”, she takes on the role of Masasa Fassie, who is a gracious, humble, resilient and deeply private woman, whose association with a former lover sees her become the centre of attention.

The actress added that she was initially called to audition for the role of Winnie Bhodoza, which eventually went to Angela Sithole.

“I’m glad I got called back to audition for the new part, because once I found out that Masasa resides in Kokstad, I then thought to myself, this is good for me,” she explained.

“My heritage derives from the AmaHlubi ethnic group and my mother is Swati and Ndebele, so when I read up about Kokstad and learned that it is just this melting pot of cultures that includes AmaHlubi and many other ethnic groups, I was pleased that I was going to be portraying such a character.”

Sipamla’s maternal grandmother, who was of Griqua heritage, spoke Xhosa and understood Bhaca, a Bantu language traditionally considered a dialect of Swati, Xhosa and Zulu. This motivated her to strengthen her preparation for the character linguistically.

“I’ve decided not to be afraid of challenging myself in terms of languages, with respect, of course. I want to explore different languages and I want to explore different dialects, so I was totally in my Xhosa brain when I was asked to return for the second audition,” said Sipamla.

Meanwhile, Sipamla is much younger than her character, Masasa, who is in her fifties, but this was a strategic move for the actress.

“I feel like it’s been the story of my life. Ever since I started my career, I’ve been aiming for characters that were 10 to 12 years my senior. I’ve always wanted the meatier, more challenging, and juicier roles,” she explained.

“I find that it takes one out of a space where you’re more likely to show your own habits. Older characters challenge you to do more research and understand more substantial things about life, values, and personality traits.”

Sipamla also revealed that for the role, she researched different personality types and since her character is in the agricultural space, this meant that she is a nurturer of sorts, but she is also quite an independent thinker and the work she does takes a certain sense of courage.

“That is why I appreciate the challenge that comes with playing older characters: they give me so much to work with. I must say though, every character I have played has presented me the opportunity to learn, which is what I love.”