FOR SIX years Pamela Nomvete had TV audiences eating from the palm of her hand, but she hated every minute of it, according to her new memoir.
In Dancing to the Beat of the Drum: In Search of My Spiritual Home, Nomvete sheds light on her personal life, which seems a far cry from how glamorous it seemed at the peak of her career as Ntsiki Lukhele on SABC1’s soapie, Generations.
While the book is not available in South Africa, it has been released in the UK, where she resides, and is available on Amazon.
For six years Nomvete helped draw millions of viewers, but "every second I walked into the SABC meant a minute off of my oxygen tank”.
Besides crossing paths with the show’s producers and cast members over working conditions – she claims some colleagues turned their dressing rooms into homes, and that others battled alcohol addiction – she also writes about drama at home.
The book is a no-holds-barred account of, among others, her fall from grace, the confusing trips to traditional healers over her polygamous lover, a brief romance with former co-star Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, losing her father to cancer, and the sequences which led to her going broke.
"That particular morning, my landlady paid me a visit. Her message was short and sweet. If I did not come up with the rent in two weeks, she was going to have me thrown out,” writes Nomvete, adding that a quick tally of her possessions revealed she was insolvent.
She also discovered she had "a gift for prophesying” and even went to the SABC to pray in its corridors and "spread the blood of Christ along its contaminated walls”.
"It never occurred to me . . . that perhaps what I should be doing was asking to see some of the casting departments and see if there was any work available for one of the so-called ‘top actresses in the country’.”
Nomvete now plays Mandy Kamara on the popular British soapie, Coronation Street. She has said she wants to launch her memoirs in South Africa.