Linda Mtoba shares the lessons she's learnt on her journey of portraying her first lead on BET's 'Queendom'

Mtoba’s character, Nthandokayise, in ‘Queendom’ is a maverick community leader in Tsakane, who discovers that she is the rightful heir to the throne of the Khahlamba Kingdom. Picture: Supplied

Mtoba’s character, Nthandokayise, in ‘Queendom’ is a maverick community leader in Tsakane, who discovers that she is the rightful heir to the throne of the Khahlamba Kingdom. Picture: Supplied

Published May 22, 2024


Actress Linda Mtoba over the years has gained a reputation for her screen work and this April South African TV viewers saw her step into a new light with her first lead role.

Mtoba portrays the role of Ntandokayise Mthombeni on BET Africa's new daily drama ‘Queendom’ which celebrates the strength, resilience and power of women who shape their destinies.

‘Queendom’ offers a refreshingly authentic portrayal of women in black communities, one that reflects the diverse roles and responsibilities they shoulder in today's society.

“In South Africa, especially, women play a pivotal role in their communities and families. It's not just about running the household; it's about owning property, making financial decisions, and shaping the future for themselves and their loved ones,” says Mtoba.

With increasingly more women becoming at the forefront of society, economically empowered and individuals of influence, it’s paramount that stories are told that reflect them in this light.

‘Queendom’ captures this reality in a way that feels genuine and relatable, explains Mtoba.

“The storytelling delves into the complexities of women's lives, highlighting their power, their struggles, and their triumphs with nuance and depth.

“It's a narrative that celebrates the strength and resilience of women, showcasing their ability to overcome adversity and thrive in the face of challenges.”

Mtoba’s character, Nthandokayise, is a maverick community leader in Tsakane, who discovers that she is the rightful heir to the throne of the Khahlamba Kingdom.

Her mother, Tholakele Mthombeni, played by Sindi Dlathu, has been keeping this secret from her for 30 years.

“Ntando's journey has taught me some invaluable lessons about life and resilience. It's like peeling back the layers of an onion — you realise that there's so much more to her than meets the eye.

“She's a woman on a journey of self-discovery, navigating the complexities of her own identity and strength.”

Ntando’s unwavering inner strength is something that resonates with Mtoba. “There are challenges and obstacles that she confronts daily, and yet, she never loses sight of her power.”

“Through Ntando's journey, I've learned the importance of harnessing that inner strength, of digging deep to find the courage to face whatever life throws your way.

“It's a reminder that true strength comes from within, from tapping into that reservoir of resilience and determination that resides in each of us.”

‘Queendom’ explores themes of social justice, empowerment and equality, which is quite fitting in the current South African context, as the country celebrates 30 years of democracy.

Mtoba agrees that it’s important to tell stories like ‘Queendom’ because they are a reflection of the reality we're living in right now - with communities struggling without access to basic necessities like water and electricity.

For example, in one scene, the local counsellor is using precious water to wash his car, while the community suffers.

“It's a poignant reminder of the inequalities that still exist in our society, even three decades into democracy.

“It's a harsh truth, but it needs to be acknowledged and addressed. ‘Queendom’ shines a light on these pressing issues, showing us the stark contrast between those in power and those who are marginalised and forgotten.”

“Through the lens of imagination, ‘Queendom’ invites us to confront the harsh realities of our world, to question the status quo, and to imagine a better future for all.

“As we celebrate this milestone in our country's history, let's not forget the stories that still need to be told, the voices that still need to be heard.

“‘Queendom’ is just one piece of the puzzle, but it's a vital one — a reminder that our journey towards true equality and justice is far from over. And it's up to all of us to keep pushing for change, to keep fighting for a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.”

At first glance, viewers might think that ‘Queendom’ is another show about a royal family fighting for the throne, but the actress describes it as a “unique blend of fiction and cultural resonance”.

“It's not your typical story about royalty — it's a tapestry woven from threads of imagination and inspiration drawn from diverse cultures across Africa. That's the beauty of it.”

‘Queendom’ taps into universal themes and narratives that viewers can relate to on a personal level.

“What's truly special is how ‘Queendom’ celebrates the richness and diversity of African cultures, blending traditions and customs to create a narrative that feels both familiar and fresh.

“It's a melting pot of stories, some rooted in history, others born from the collective imagination of storytellers.

“It's a celebration of our shared humanity, our collective heritage, and the power of imagination to transport us to worlds beyond our wildest dreams.”

‘Queendom’ airs on BET Africa channel 129, Monday to Thursday at 6.30 pm.

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