Rising Star: Get To Know Ziya Xulu ‘Pikile’ From Shaka Ilembe
Since the release of its first episode of Shaka iLembe, many fans in South Africa have been wondering who Ziya Xulu is. Ziya plays the role of Pikile, a close friend of Nomzamo Mbatha, ‘Princess Nandi,’ on the show.
Who is Ziya Xulu?
Ziya Xulu is a twenty-five-year-old multi-talented young lady, excelling in various fields such as acting, MCing, radio presenting, and music. Her journey to fame has been remarkable, and she cites Anele Mdoda as her role model.
Ziya Xulu’s Background
Originally from Pietermaritzburg, Ziya faced significant backlash regarding her background from people claiming to be fully Zulu. She recalls the criticism she received over the years, stating, “Some people will make you feel like you are not Zulu enough. People will say that because ungahambi umhlanga or because you do not come from the rural areas, then you’re not Zulu enough.”
Ziya’s Journey in Entertainment
Prior to her appearance on Shaka iLembe, Ziya had already made a name for herself in the entertainment industry when she was featured on Isithembiso.
Pikile’s Role on Shaka iLembe
Expressing her joy about being part of the production, Ziya Xulu shares, “To be part of a production like this feels wonderful. Shaka is so affirming for me. It lets me know that I am enough. It makes me feel like I have done my part as a Zulu girl.”
She further adds, “No matter where I go and what I achieve in life, being part of this production will always be top five. Shaka will always be a highlight even when I make it in Hollywood.”
Ziya also expresses her admiration for her co-stars, saying, “Everyone is so amazing. These are people I grew up watching, and now I get to work with them.”
Sharing a delightful anecdote, she mentions, “My trailer was next to Nomzamo’s trailer, and I remember one day I was told someone had to quickly use my trailer just to change quickly, and I said cool. As I asked who was in my trailer, Vusi Kunene walked out, and I said ‘yho Jack Mabaso,’ and we all laughed.”
Reflecting on her character, she adds, “I used to tell my mom how much I loved Thandeka on Isibaya. Now I play her bosom buddy in Shaka. She is starting to feel like a big sister, even in real life.”
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