Teen given chance to shine on world stage

Makhanda pupil chosen for talent convention in New York in July

WORLD STAGE: Siyamthanda Hobongwana will participate in the IMTA convention in the USA in July Picture: SUPPLIED

With a passion for acting, East London born Siyamthanda Hobongwana, 16, is set to grace the international stage when she takes part in the International Modelling and Talent Association (IMTA) convention in New York in July.

“It felt like an out-of-body experience. I just screamed and had tears of joy after I got the call-back. I couldn’t sleep because of excitement,” Hobongwana said.

She took part in the International Arts Talent showcase in September last year in Johannesburg where she performed in front of industry professionals such as Tyler Perry Studios casting director Rhayvnn Drummer, ITMA founder Joey Hunter and the New York Film Academy’s Blake Babbit.

“Being on stage makes me forget everything. My heart is at ease and I get to release everything,” she said.

Hobongwana, who is currently studying at Victoria Girls’ High School in Makhanda, has been involved in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a number of inter-house school plays and was part of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy.

“Before I play a character, I do a lot of research and go into my emotion memory. My first acting coach, Sandy Vlandir, taught me a lot,” she said.

In addition to acting, Hobongwana modelled, danced and did vocals for her auditions. She also attended an intensive bootcamp in January, in preparation for New York.

“I’m not scared to get constructive criticism. It’s inspiring to work with so many people, be on so many stages and get out of my comfort zone,” Hobongwana said.

“Follow your dreams and surround yourself with people that share your dream. It doesn’t matter what background you’re from, believe in yourself and trust your gut.”

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