Khanya Mkhangisa is undoubtedly one of Mzansi's best young actors. The actress, who plays Nolitha on Rockville, gave a SAFTA-worthy performance on the show last night. It really brought me, and others who were watching, to tears. It was not just about Khanya's brilliant acting skills, it was also about the fact that Nolitha's death was very unexpected. Yes, she was on drugs, but it looked like she had finally received the help that she needed.
Viewers were first introduced to her character, a naive girl from the Eastern Cape, a few weeks ago. She then found herself working at a nightclub, where she was also sleeping with men for money. Things got interesting and dangerous when Nolitha experimented with drugs. She was so hooked that she couldn't even control herself anymore.
When I spoke to Khanya about what we can expect from Nolitha, she talked about how she had been thoroughly briefed by Shona on the character and her journey. "I went into this project knowing the great complexity of this character. Without revealing too much, Nolitha's emotional journey can be described as that of a whirlwind," she explained.
And boy, did we experience that emotional journey on last night's episode. We got to see the seriousness of Nolitha's drug addiction - which led to her painful death. As if that was not enough, her father, played by Don Mlangeni - who is also on Uzalo - gave us a first hand experience of what fathers sometimes have to go through when raising their children. He also made us see how far a father's love for his children can go.
The poor old man drove all the way from the Eastern Cape to take his daughter home. Instead, he found her in a bad state and had to rush her to the hospital. Nolitha eventully got enough strength to speak to her dad. She explained how she got into drugs and apologised to her father. Things seemed to fine for a while but Nolitha just couldn't control her addiction and ended up taking one last hit. This time she did not make it.
This, for me, was the best and realest episode of Rockville. Baba Don's tears after discovering that his on-screen daughter had died just broke my heart. It felt too real. They both gave stellar performances and received great reviews from fans.
Even Shona Ferguson was impressed by Khanya's acting. He sent her tweet which read: "@KhanyaMkangisa you are brilliant kiddo. We are all so proud of you. Looking forward to working with you again. #Rockville3 @FERGUSON_FILMS."
With a great performance like that, Khanya's dream of one day working in Hollywood doesn't seem impossible. Do you think Khanya is the most talented under-30 actor in South Africa right now?