When actress Sannah Mchunu dumped her “abusive” husband and closed the door on her marriage, little did she know the door to showbiz would swing wide open for her.
Today Mchunu is a celebrated artist for her portrayal of a drunkard on Gomora, a weekday telenovela on Mzansi Magic’s channel 161. Gomora shines the spotlight on crime, intimate relationships, parenting, as well as peer pressure, among many other hot topics.
Mchunu’s character has brought her admiration, accolades, and praise from both the viewers and industry gurus.
The often loud and problematic characters, which she also showcased as Nomarashiya on Muvhango, and Machiliza on Rhythm City, have now earned her a nomination in this year’s DStv Mzansi Viewer’s Choice Award (DMVCA) in the category of favourite actress.
She is also the proud holder of a Royalty Soapie award.
“I am very grateful for the [DMVCA] nomination, it means I am doing well in what I do. I only have God to thank for giving me such talent, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it this far,” she shared.
Reflecting on her past, Mchunu said it was not an easy decision to leave her marriage. She moved in with her younger sister, sharing a family home in Soweto.
Even more painful for her was having to separate from her seven children, whom she left with her husband, because she had no source of income at the time.
But she maintains that leaving was the best option after years of abuse at the hands of her children’s father. The abuse, she shared, was both physical and emotional.
“Life was hard … I felt like a failure, and people looked and treated me differently. One day I accompanied my friend Winnie Khumalo to audition for a TV role, I had no idea that it was going to be the beginning of my acting career and great things to come.”
Mchunu did not have any qualifications in acting nor a matric certificate. She was also struggling with English, but the casting director at the auditions encouraged her to also give it a go.
“I did what they told me to do, and they were impressed,” she said, adding that she bagged a role in eKasi: Our Stories – Everything Came Up and Down.
“From that day, the doors started opening for me.”
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