Port Shepstone-born actress Fundi Zwane’s star continues to rise.
A familiar face on South African television, Zwane plays a leading role in the ground-breaking hit show Imbewu: The Seed on e.tv. Her character, KaMadonsela, is a grounded Christian woman and one viewers love.
Zwane’s talents were discovered and honed at Port Shepstone High School, where her leadership skills saw her elected as head girl in 2003.
These qualities have led to a highly successful acting career and recently helped Imbewu: The Seed walk away with the SAFTA award for Most Popular Soap/Telenovela as voted by South Africa.
Having landed her first breakthrough role in the hit soapie Generations, Zwane has over 10 years of navigating and making a formidable name for herself in the South African Arts industry.
With a daily on-screen viewership of 4.5 million and a social media reach of 500,000 people, Zwane has built an influential brand and a household name in South Africa and abroad.
Now based in Durban, she’s a respected actress and businesswoman, who is the proud Founding Director of The Phezulu Phambili Collective. Zwane has always had a passion and flair for marrying all things creative with business and that is what has given her company its competitive edge.
Added to this, she is a sought-after MC, Guest Speaker and Specialised Creative Consultant. Zwane is also involved in a myriad of personal community development projects with strategic partners as her vision is to see young black women in South Africa be meaningful economic contributors.
On top of that, she also produced her own online show called Living Lit with @Fundi_Zwane which is available on YouTube.
eHowzit caught up with her to get her thoughts on Imbewu: The Seed’s award, her character, other projects she’s involved with and her South Coast roots.
Congratulations on the show’s first SAFTA win. What does the award mean to you and the rest of the cast and crew?
I can only speak for myself in saying this is a validation of hard hours and passion poured into a beautiful story that has warmed the screens and hearts of audiences across South Africa.
I believe this win speaks to the team spirit and synergy between both cast and crew and it’s great to be part of this collective.
How do you feel about your character being one of the most beloved characters on the show?
I’m both humbled and blown away; for people to receive my art in this manner is really great. It’s so appreciated!
The #DonsiChallenge (in which fans re-enact iconic Donsi scenes from Imbewu) has really taken off on social media. How do you rate the performances you’ve seen so far?
The talent out there is amazing! I’ve laughed, enjoyed and cheered on participants of the #DonsiChallenge. All I got to say is AMEEENNNNNN!
— Imbewu: The Seed (@etvImbewu) April 27, 2020
Tell us a bit about how you are promoting the arts and creative industries through your initiative, The Phezulu Phambili Collective…
Phezulu Phambili continues to marry the corporate world with the Arts. I’m looking forward to engaging in projects that speak to safety post-Covid-19 and to facilitate conversation that speaks to hygiene being a new culture and standard in our country. I’m looking forward to how our ideation is going to integrate that into our Industrial Theatre offerings.
How do you feel about your South Coast roots?
I’m proud! I am a result of being raised by extended mothers and fathers of the South Coast. My family still lives on the coast and I’m so proud on the mark our little town has been able to make across the spectrum.
Port Shepstone High School is where my talent was spotted and groomed by their amazing drama department. I remain ever grateful. I enjoy my home town as both a home and a holiday destination.
What message do you have for the local youth who feel they won’t be able to achieve their dreams because they’re based in a small town rather than a major city?
We live in a time where the best thing we can do is use what we have, where we are. That’s how I’ve built my small business and my brand. Collaborate with people who have a shared vision and ENJOY the journey that your courage and passion takes you on.
Follow Zwane on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fundizwaneofficial/ and Instagram @Fundi_Zwane and for more details about Imbewu, visit the show’s official website: https://www.etv.co.za/shows/imbewu