JIVA!’s Noxolo Dlamini and Candice Modiselle speak on all-female lead cast and inclusivity

Noxolo Dlamini and Candice Modiselle spoke to JustNje about their lead roles on Netflix’s JIVA!, and the importance of inclusivity in contemporary television. 

On Wednesday, 23 June 2021, Noxolo Dlamini and Candice Modiselle were virtually interviewed by JustNje to speak on their lead roles on the upcoming Netflix original series, JIVA!. Dlamini and Modiselle lead the cast of the first local Netflix original dance series, which is aimed at highlighting the unique dance culture in South Africa.

Dlamini, who plays the lead character of Ntombi, spoke on the importance of the series having an all-female lead cast, stating, “Proud. Absolutely proud, and I think the way we tell it is so beautiful as well. It is so warm. It reminds me of ‘my girlfriends’ (singing title track of Girlfriends).”

She went on to add, “It is so beautiful to have these five women who have each other’s backs, you know. Starting off shaky, not even knowing one another, but building their relationship so strongly that they are there for one another. They are pushing each other forward and those that are left behind, they are waiting for them, pushing them and carrying them, you know.”

Moreover, with the backdrop of the entire series being Durban, it showcases inclusivity in the bodies, talents and identities chosen to be part of the show. Speaking on this, Modiselle, who plays the character of Vuyiswa, reflected by stating, “The casting was absolutely brilliant. If we are looking at things like, of marginalised groups and things like colourism. If we are looking at things like homophobia and how it plays itself out in storytelling because, we then make excuses like, ‘South Africa is a conservative place.’ But the problem is, with the lack of representation, we then start to erase who really exists in our South Africa context. So, I can only hope that this work inspires other South Africa storytellers to actually shoot far and wide in representing what South Africa is.”

The two went on to detail other facts, such as their trajectories in the acting industry, and supported the calls for a second season. JIVA! is set to premiere on Netflix on Thursday, 24 June 2021, at 18:00.

Watch the full interview below.