- She was previously crowned Miss SA teen and been a part of our TV screens for as long as we can remember
- She took a short break from acting but is back with a new role in The Girl From St Agnes
- She learnt to process criticism and deal with pressure from the industry during her role as Linda from The Queen
Twenty-six-year-old Celeste Khumalo has been wowing audiences with her acting skills for a long time now. But that is not how the former Miss SA Teen reached the big screens. Her story, similar to Trevor Noah's, started from humble beginnings to reach complete stardom.
She spoke to ZAlebs about her career as actress and model. Celeste said she was influenced by her mother to do modelling while she was still at school. After she was crowned Miss SA Teen in 2011. She became a brand ambassador for Pond's and a Woolworths Style icon by SA Influencer. After receiving a bursary to study from the pageant, she pursued a BA in Corporate Communications. Once she completed her degree, she found an agency that told her to stop modelling and instead focus on her acting.
This was an opportunity for Celeste to take acting more seriously and so she put her complete focus on it, which in the end turned out pretty well for her.
Celeste said it was during her role as Linda in The Queen that taught her how to process criticism. She is still surprised when people talk to her about her character in the drama series. After losing the role initially, she was called back so that the script writers could "kill" off her character. However she believes she played a better role the second time round.
Celeste said it was challenging for her to do her acting, running of her Nail Bar business in Pretoria and to study towards her MBA. She eventually had to close her nail bar and put her studies on hold so she could pay the bills.
"I had told myself I had to do so many things before I was 25. With that I learnt never to put an age on my dreams, but to take however much time necessary to fulfil them," she told ZAlebs.
Celeste auditioned for a role on The Girl from St Agnes, and was put up against some of the best in the industry. And although she was nervous at first, she secured the role of Kholwa who is the head girl at the school. She described her character as an overachiever in the school. Celeste said her character is a black head girl in a white school so she faces a lot racial and family challenges as well.
She said the show dealt with many issues such as race, gender and religion but the two female directors handle each issue very well.
Her message to aspiring actresses is to keep their options open, even when jobs are a few. She said its always good to have another skill or service that they can look into, especially when there's no work on screen or in theatre.
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