Actress Wanda Banda is inspiring a new generation of dreamers

Published May 16, 2024


Amidst the glitz and glamour of the bustling entertainment scene, one rising star is captivating audiences with her raw talent and unwavering determination.

Meet 24-year-old Wanda Banda, the young actress whose journey from humble beginnings to the silver screen is inspiring a new generation of dreamers.

With her magnetic presence and dedication to her craft, she's poised to make a lasting mark on the industry.

Banda is currently playing Kate in kykNET’s Plan B opposite Hollywood powerhouse, Arnold Vosloo in her first Afrikaans role.

Kate is a feisty young tech wizard that helps her colleagues do their business flawlessly and they are so in need of her skills.

“What a phenomenal character, and an awesome show, how blessed am I to play in two Deon Meyer productions,” an elated Banda says.

But how was it working with Arnold Vosloo?

“It was quite weird, at first I did not quite know who this man was, then I did some research and realised who he really is.”

“Arnold was great, he was a safe space, he taught me valuable lessons especially about the technical things on set and in front of the cameras.”

“He taught me that I am not just the actor delivering lines from the written script, but that I can help the camera crew by knowing which camera requires what and when and that I can also ask questions and give suggestions,” says Banda.

Born and bred in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, Banda attended Vredelust Primary School in Bellville and it was there where she started speaking Afrikaans fluently.

“My Afrikaans teacher at Vredelust believed in me and encouraged me. I think she could see that I already have a good inclination with languages in general.”

“But I must admit it was at Hoërskool Stellenberg in Durbanville that my Afrikaans improved vastly.

“Everything around me was Afrikaans: the school, the church, the camps I attended, and I was even going to Pretoria as part of the debating club, all in Afrikaans,” Banda recalls.

She was destined for the entertainment industry but did not quite expect it to be acting.

“I grew up singing, I love music, but I must admit I have neglected it for a while, and it is a muscle you must work all the time. I thought singing was going to be my primary work.”

“It was only when I started doing drama at high school that I felt I was venturing into the performing arts.”

“I then told myself I want one option and one option only – I would go to university, but I want to study drama. I was accepted at UCT and the rest is history,” says Banda.

It wasn’t long before Banda started making her mark in the industry and it was her first role that was nothing short of greatness.

"My inaugural acting experience took place on the set of 'The Women King,' portraying the youthful Nanisca. Viola Davis inhabited the role of General Nanisca, and the narrative entailed a poignant flashback sequence in which I portrayed the character's earlier years.

"Collaborating with Viola Davis was an incredible experience. Far from a diva, she treated me as her equal, fostering a sense of camaraderie on set that was truly inspiring. Her humility and professionalism set a remarkable standard, especially coming from a seasoned Hollywood luminary."

"Admitting the undeniable gap between myself and a prominent figure like her, I recognised the vast amount of knowledge I had yet to acquire. I approached the experience with an open mind, eager to soak up every bit of wisdom like a sponge,” says Banda.

Banda has recently graced screens in notable productions such as 'Heart of the Hunter' and Season 4 of 'Blood & Water' on Netflix.

Last November, she lent her talents to the film 'Utopia' in Bulgaria, sharing the screen with esteemed international actors including Moe Dunford, Charlotte Vega, and Jade Coatsworth.

“Shooting Utopia was such an interesting experience, I am really-really excited to see the final product,” says Banda.

Banda's passion for performing in front of the camera traces back to her early days in modelling at just 13 years old.

While she dabbled in theatre through high school drama classes and festivals, her heart lies in the exhilaration of acting for the lens.

“I don't consider myself a theatre aficionado, but I hold immense respect for those who thrive on stage,” she shares.

Though Banda momentarily stepped away from modelling to pursue acting, her connection with the camera remains intrinsic.

“Returning to shoots for brand campaigns and partnerships, and creating content, allows me to express myself artistically,” she enthuses.