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LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT

Youngin’s Ayakha Ntunja’s 5 hidden talents revealed

Meet the new girl Amo on the Showmax Original teen drama
Author: Neo Sesinye
Tue, Feb 27, 2024

Image Source: Supplied

Ayakha Ntunja's breakthrough began in 2023, when she played the role of Thembi in S3 of MTV Shuga Down South. Fast-forward to 2024 and the 20-year-old debuts as a lead in the new Showmax series Youngins currently on Showmax.

The rising star plays the role of Amo Mosweu, a sweet, determined girl from a rural town in KwaZulu-Natal. Amo is smart, beautiful and seems to know exactly what she wants out of life. That is, until she gets to Olifantsfontein High School, where an unexpected experience gains her new friends and a different perspective on life.

Who is Ayakha and how different is she from Amo?

Ayakha is someone who is very much passionate, driven, hardworking, crazy at times and really funny. She has a very outgoing personality and definitely someone who can be kind and down to earth. Amo is very different from me right now but very similar to me back when I was in high school. I think I was someone who really had my goals intact and really knew what I wanted in life but just didn't have the grit and the confidence in myself to achieve those things.

So a lot of the times when you see Amo falling into some situations, I was like that too and you only learn afterwards that some things could have been handled differently. But she has a bigger fight on her hands and I think that's the big thing with Amo. Her story might be different but her little personas and ways of handling situations was a bit similar to me but she's different to me because now I know where I am in life and have a bit of a confident streak.

When did your love for acting start, and did you know you were going to make a career out of it?

I actually fell into acting, theatre to be specific, by mistake. A friend of mine dragged me into an audition and said listen, we just need to fill a role. From there I fell in love with the space, the environment.  Next thing I was convincing my dad I want to go to NSA, that this is what I want to do: I want to create art, I want to create movies and I want people to watch me, even if it's just one person. I really didn't know that I would make a career out of the arts. It's very hard to convince people around you that you’re living your passion and living your dream. Once I had made that decision for myself, with the belief and passion, that’s what I went after and I've never looked back. I’m always so grateful that I know what I want and I’m achieving it slowly.

Image Source:Supplied

What was the most difficult part of filming?  

The long hours on set and just balancing my life around that. But that helped me stay on top of my game and to be prepared for anything. Working on this project has been a beautiful experience. I've been enjoying it so far and there haven't been any significant difficulties, just continuous learning processes.

What kept you excited about this season?

The storyline! Everytime I received a new script, I was shocked and intrigued and kept wondering "What are we doing now?" Playing this role took me out of my comfort zone, and I believe it does the same for Amo. I am learning alongside her, making this season both exciting and endearing. Trust me when I say we do not know what's happening next; it continues to shock us. I'm genuinely excited about the unpredictability of the storyline.

How are you handling the fame?

To be honest, I don't feel like I’m famous, nor do I pay attention to that. I just pay attention to the fact that people receive my work well and enjoy what I put out. No crazy experiences yet, or any rapid change yet that'll make me think that I’m famous yet.

What message is being sent across to young people and how would you like them to receive the message?

I hope the viewers enjoy the show and watch it with an open heart and honestly, just give everyones’ storyline a chance. The biggest thing that I would like the Gen Z to take away from the show is to know that things really can fall apart and get difficult, but as time gow, you grow, you learn and you build yourself. I want people to remember that it’s really not the end of the road for anything, especially with all the peer pressure from high school. There is so much more to life and experience, I really hope the show opens up your mind and teaches you to stand up for yourself, just like Amo had on the show.

Tell us what people don’t know about Ayakha?

  • I love cooking
  • I’m a huge adrenaline junkie
  • I’m into F1 and racing, that gives me peace
  • I’m a good writer or so I’d like to think; I just haven't shown much of my work as of yet.
  • Outside of being behind the camera, I’ve got great sporting skills, particularly in athletics, I’ve achieved a lot of medals and have so much to show for it, many people thought I’d pursue a career in that actually but I changed my tune in that.

Catch Ayakha Ntunja in her lead role as Amo in Youngins S1, now streaming on Showmax with three new episodes streaming every Thursday.

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