It took actress Nyalleng Thibedi a year to finally secure herself a spot on one of Mzansi’s top telenovelas, Uzalo.

The talented actress,  who stole our hearts in etv telenovela, playing the role of Mpho, will her debut appearance this March.

In it, she plays Zekhethelo Mhlongo, daughter of villain Nkunzebovu Mhlongo.

“I went for a series of auditions at Stained Glass Productions, the process took a year and I finally landed the role of Zekhethelo in December ,” Thibedi said.

She said her character was vibrant, full of life, strong and not only intelligent but street smart.

“She is very confident – this she gets from the  relationship she has with her father.”

She said that the character was different from her previous ones because she acted as a bad girl or good one.

“Zekhethelo is different in that she is a balance between the two dynamics,” she said.

Thibedi said the character is multilingual and speaks Zulu, Sotho and a little English.

She told Sunday World the Zulu language was not a problem because she had been exposed to it since the age of nine.

“My aunt’s neighbours were Zulu and I needed someone to play with when I visited her during the school holidays so I decided to learn the language.”

She said even when she was studying at the University of Cape Town, her study mates were Zulu speaking.

Thibedi, an engineering graduate, said she has always known that she wanted to be an actress and used to attend Saturday drama classes in Rockville, Soweto, where she grew up.

“While I was working as an engineer I did some introspection and I realised it was not my calling. I left South Africa for the US in pursuit of my dream, which is acting,” she said.

Thibedi rose to fame through her role as Mpho on Ashes to Ashes.

Uzalo stars Dawn King, Leleti Khumalo, Naymaps Maphalala and Nompilo Maphumuloamongst others.

Be sure to tune in Uzalo @ 8:30PM every weekdays on SABC1.