ENTERTAINMENT

Isibaya's Jessica Nkosi Wasn't Ready For Media Attention

"People always want to know what's going on in my life."

24/11/2016 20:30 SAST | Updated 24/11/2016 20:33 SAST
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Jessica Nkosi is not the shy character that she plays in "Isibaya".

Actress Jessica Nkosi first appeared on our screens as Qondi on "Isibaya" three years ago. Now she has taken on a new role as the presenter of popular wedding reality show "Our Perfect Wedding".

The 26-year-old plays a demure queen in the Mzansi Magic drama series but says she is nothing like the shy character that fans expect her to be.

"'Isibaya' is the first of its kind on TV, there was nothing like it before — a proper authentic drama series about Zulu culture," she says excitedly. "People gravitated towards that and embraced it. I was thrust into the spotlight quickly."

Nkosi says she was not ready for what sudden fame entailed. "People — strangers — have expectations of me now. No one tells you just how much people care about what is going on in your life," she says. "I have to think about what I say and do because there is always a message that is being sent out with it, even without you asking for it. You suddenly realise that it's not just about you anymore."

She admits that sometimes the attention can be too much. "It is difficult when people always want to know what's going on in my life. But I guess that's just part of the job."

"Our Perfect Wedding" keeps her busy, as she travels around the country shooting the show. "I never know what I am going to be met with every week. It can be really draining. Also, weddings are long — there are no call times and end times, the end when they end. I've had to learn a lot of patience," Nkosi says of the challenges of working on the show. But she says it is all worth it. "I think it is also my love for love and wanting to share people's stories. Bringing the audience along with me as we get to know the couple on their wedding journey."

Even though she gets to celebrate love on the show every week, it's not always easy. "People compare me to previous presenters and they can be really harsh. Where the criticism is constructive, I always try to take it on board. Where it isn't — the block button is the most peaceful thing in the world," she says.

While people have been very supportive in general, she has also had to learn what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

Asked about some of her career highlights so far and she immediately says "Clinique!" She's talking about signing her global brand ambassador deal with the cosmetics brand. "It was a dream come true — something I have wanted for so long and I am so honoured to be one of their global ambassadors." She then quickly adds: "Oh, and also being on the cover of True Love magazine. That was a big deal for me."