According to renowned actress Terry Pheto, taking the lead role of Winnie Mandela in the upcoming BET’s mini-series‚ which tells the chronicle of Nelson Mandela‚ is the climax in her whole career and a dream come true.
While being interviewed on set of Madiba which is currently being filmed in Johannesburg, Terry donned a wig that is an exact replica of the hairstyle Ma Winnie had all those years ago‚ clad in a navy blue suit that looks like the one she wore on the day Madiba was released from prison.
The effect of the outfits and makeup was so perfect she looked looked like the splitting image of the struggle stalwart.
Terry couldn’t hold back her excitement as she expressed her fierce passion for the story and particularly the role she plays.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this role my entire career. It’s a dream role for me‚ and I feel like everything that I’ve done has led me to this.”
To Terry Pheto, playing Winnie Mandela is an honour as Ma Winnie is a woman of strength whom she has so much reverence for.
“Being South African and remembering this icon that my mother and aunts looked up to – this woman of strength‚ grace‚ beauty and courage. I see this role as an honour and a huge responsibility and I do not take it for granted. The fact that I’m playing Winnie Mandela‚ I know what it means to a lot of people‚ myself included‚ and I do not take that for granted‚” Terry said on her role as Winnie, hoping that Ma Winnie will look at her performance and be proud.
Looking back on the journey of the struggle stalwart, though tough, it was also a beautiful one. Very few women will go through what she did and still stand tall with smiles on her face.
“Preparing for this role over the past few months is the loneliest I’ve ever felt‚ because you watch documentaries and you read material‚ and you realise very few people would have survived what she went through. And to still be standing‚ smiling and composed with every interview- it’s been a journey but a beautiful one.”
One thing Terry learnt from the struggle hero was that there is power in inner strength and the will to survive.
“Sometimes we have no idea how we can survive certain situations until we are faced with them and there’s nothing else but to survive. And the strength that we have within.”
The times Ma Winnie spent in prison and the moments when she was tortured inspires Terry Pheto more than any other part.
“There were moments where she would look forward to fainting even for a second‚ so that her body can rest and then she could wake up and be brave again‚ and be tortured. As much as she was tortured and broken she remained whole‚ and put a smile on and gave people hope everyday.”
Actress Terry Pheto wishes young South Africans to watch the mini-series so that they will realise that the price of freedom did not come cheap and that lives were lost in the process of attaining the freedom they enjoy today.
The series Madiba is set to release on BET (DStv channel 129) some time in 2017.