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Ntando Duma Talks about her humble beginnings in Orange Farm

Orange Farm is located 45km from Johannesburg. Children still play freely on the streets while teenagers joke around in the corners. Elders, too, are treated with the utmost respect. Ntando was raised by her mother and grandmother.

1. Learning discipine

She reminisces about her carefree childhood that was filled with playtime on the dusty streets, and keeping the stoep to her house clean and shiny using red floor polish.

“It was my responsibility to keep the stoep and shiny,” she says. The discipline it took to do that helped her be meticulous in her quest to grow her career at a fast pace. Playing with friends on the streets until the lights went on always got her into trouble with her mom. From a young age, her love for TV was evident as her mother recalls that her daughter always said she would one day end up on our TV screens. “I started going for auditions at a young age. My first audition was horrible because I could not speak English properly; it was difficult to understand the instructions I was given,” she recalls.  Despite the challenges, she continued to go for auditions until she landed her TV presenting gig on Craz-e.

2. Giving back

This fun loving actress was a member of the choir and debate team during her years at Thetha Secondary School. “I’m grateful that I took part in extra mural curricular activities because today, I can hold down conversations on various topics and I’m confident when addressing the public,” she says. The learners at the school are always excited to see her and listen to her motivational talks. The love for her township and giving back is clearly evident when she talks about where she comes from.

3. Supporting local business

Orange Farm has little tuckshops that are frequented by the locals who enjoy sharing a meal, catching up on the latest news or just to smile and wave at people walking by. Despite the high unemployment rate and the lack of a disposable income, these shops are supported by the community, and slowly growing. As a child, she was sent to buy from the tuckshops regularly, and she still continues to do this today. “I love taking a walk to buy amakota and supporting local businesses,” she says.

When she walks down the streets of her township, little girls look up to her with adoring eyes while the teenagers ask what will happen to the character she plays on the e.tv soapie Rhythm City. It’s amazing to see that the rise of a township girl does wonders for the whole community’s morale.

- People Magazine

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