The actress Sannah Mchunu talks about leaving her disgraceful husband

The actress Sannah Mchunu talks about leaving her disgraceful husband



The actress Sannah Mchunu talks about leaving her disgraceful husband

She’s the lady everyone likes to hate – Zodwa, the alcoholic mom of the darling Teddy in Gomora.

She leaves destruction wherever she goes and is understood for her quirky one-liners that embarrass her son but make Mzansi laugh.

Actress Sannah Mchunu (48) loves playing the loud-mouthed, troublemaking drunk mom within the popular Mzansi Magic telenovela.

Zodwa’s lifestyle choices have made her lose her son after he was taken out of her care and put into a healthier environment with Melusi (Zolisa Xaluva) and Gladys (Thembi Seete). This left Zodwa liberal to drown her sorrows in booze. and since of that, she’s had a couple of brushes with violence.

Like her on-screen character, Sannah has had a couple of demons to fight in her own life and she or he understands a number of Zodwa’s struggles.

“I know what it wishes to want to vary but be stuck during a situation. Zodwa is being controlled by alcohol,” Sannah says.

Teddy always tries to rescue his mother but Zodwa constantly fails. “I haven’t battled with alcohol, but like Zodwa my children are my pillar of strength, so I understand.”

For most of her life, Sannah lived in an abusive relationship with the daddy of her seven kids. and she or he uses her experience to play Zodwa.


She sometimes gets into trouble at work for improvising her lines. “I have a script like everyone else, on the other hand, I add gestures and slang to actually make Zodwa come to life,” Sannah says.

“That woman lives is inside me. I can feel it in my soul once I must add a touch of spice to my lines.” It all comes naturally to her. “Some of the items that happen once i buy into character amaze me.”

Often the cast and crew forced entry laughter when Zodwa pulls a number of her unexpected stunts on sets. “Everyone on set laughs at Zodwa’s antics. We all know of a Zodwa within the township.”

Sannah is grateful she’s allowed to feature some creativity to the script. “You know, sometimes directors and writers get offended once you increase the script. But once you feel the character the maximum amount as I feel Zodwa, sometimes you finish up adding things to reinforce the role. And I’m grateful to be allowed the chance to try to so sometimes .”

Sannah loves how Zodwa will fight to be a mother despite her flaws. “She loves her son unconditionally.”

Sannah says Zodwa reminds her of her own love for her children.

“I don’t accept my kids, they accept their father in Florida and that I sleep in Soweto. Being far away from them and having to rearrange visits help me relate to what Zodwa feels when she’s far away from her child,” she adds.


Eight years ago, Sannah and her taxi-owner husband separated thanks to verbal and physical abuse. and she or he was forced to go away her children behind and withdraw home to Soweto together with her younger sister, Ntombizodwa Kobese (44), at her family home. “I had to travel back home to Sgodiphola in Soweto. I had nothing to supply my children. He had the cash and everyone I knew was to offer birth and stay home,” she says.

“I had no Grade 12, no schooling, no work experience. All I did was mother my children and be an honest wife.

“When the connection became too abusive, my children advised me to go away and return home. That was the simplest decision of my life,” she says.

“But it meant sacrificing my children in order that they can have an honest life. It meant sacrificing being a ‘madam’ and living a life of luxury. My husband was rich and he never thought I’d ever leave.”

Her husband lived with their children – Thokoza (31), a taxi-business owner; Simphiwe (28), a banker at Capitec; Sbusiso (26), a chartered accountant; Busisiwe (25), an economist; Themba (19), a rugby player; and 13-year-old twins Ayanonga and Abongile – and that they would visit her in Soweto.

“I left with nothing but a nightgown and underwear on. And he thought I might return because I missed the cash. But I didn’t miss the punches and kicks,” she says.

“Sometimes you would like to steer faraway from situations that don’t serve you and learn to start out once again. check out me now – telling amazing stories and making the country laugh.”


Moving back to Soweto, things were tough. “I was shamed for returning home and leaving my rich husband. People would gossip about me within the neighborhood and that I was called a ‘return soldier’.

But Hannah didn’t hand over. She decided to be an actress and attended every audition she was called to. But she got only a few roles.

“I felt like my time was almost up and that I was getting old. But I still tried my best,” she says.

In 2016 she landed the role of Nomarashiya in Muvhango, but that was just for three months. Then she got a couple of small roles in eKasi: Our Stories.

“We shot eKasi for 3 or four days. you bought your money and went back to queuing up for auditions. But i used to be good at saving up and that I managed to increase my late parents’ home,” she says.

“I built some backroom reception, fixed the house, and built a shower.

The actress Sannah Mchunu talks about leaving her disgraceful husband
Things I might haven’t done had I stayed therein abusive marriage,” she says. “Even my neighbors seemed proud and said my parents must be rejoicing in their graves.”

This went on until she auditioned for the role of Zodwa. “I was eyeing another character in Gomora, But I ended up getting called to seem a couple of times as Zodwa and that I nailed it,” she says.

“I wasn’t happy that it had been a little role for a brief time, but I gave it my all and therefore the directors were impressed.

“This role really changed my life completely. I’m loved and appreciated everywhere I’m going which helped to spice up my confidence. I’m a hero now within the township,” she says.

She wont to be shamed for leaving an abusive marriage. “But now I can look out of my kids and my family and still be a respected actress,” she says.

Most importantly for Sannah, her kids are pleased with her newfound independence. “They have supported me through everything. They’ve seen me at my worst and that they also get to ascertain me at my best.”

It’s a sort of a miracle because just five years ago, Sannah knew nothing about acting. “I was just a baby-making machine. I didn’t know what a script was and the way to require direction.”

But with the assistance of friends like singer Winnie Khumalo, she learned the ropes quickly.

“I will forever be grateful to Winnie for taking me together with her to auditions and allowing me to undertake my luck. Who would have thought that acting would be my passion? That I might call myself an actress. All I did was live my life for my husband. Ja nee, we live and learn.”