Wafika prepares for showcase in the USA

Aspiring actress, Wafika Sidwaba, a Grade 12 pupil from Cannons Creek Independent School in Pinelands.

Young actress Wafika Sidwaba has been chosen to perform in a talent show in America next month.

The Cannons Creek Independent High School Grade 12 pupil will take part in the Applause Rising Talent Showcase(ARTS), at Florida’s Disney World.

The 17-year-old attended two local auditions last year before being chosen from among hundreds of other aspiring performers.

She first auditioned in March last year at the International Arts Talent Showcase (IATS) and received a callback to perform in front of ARTS director Kim Myers and Tyler Perry Studios director Rhavynn Drummerm, at the IATS at the Silverstar Casino in Johannesburg. And that’s where she booked her place at the Florida showcase.

“After my performance, it was an anxious wait. I was lucky to have my mother, Nodumo Sidwaba, with me to ease the nerves,” said Wafika.

She first discovered her love of the stage when she joined her school’s choir in Grade 3 and later landed a lead role in a school production.

Wafika has been in the drama class at Cannons Creek since 2016, and the school’s drama teacher, Judith Herbig, cast her as a policewoman in the comedy No body like Jimmy, which the school staged last year.

“She is vocally quite versatile and expressive and also excels in her use of facial expressions and gestures,” said Ms Herbig.

Apart from having to fit the overseas talent show into her matric year, Wafika has the added burden of trying to raise the money to pay for her flight as well as her accommodation and ARTS entry fee.

Nodumo Sidwaba said her daughter was following in the footsteps of her grandparents, Barney and Dolly Sidwaba, who had worked in the entertainment industry.

She wants Wafika to learn the ropes of the industry, gaining production, directorial and acting skills so she can “contribute towards South African productions that tell our stories”.

Wafika has sent a portfolio to the New York Film Academy, where she hopes to study performing arts after finishing matric.