The local film industry remains a sector which is delicate and still struggling to get out of its infancy. As such it is one field that many can comfortably call home.
Out of the few people that the industry has managed to lure, there appears to be a good femalee representation. A number of women have assumed roles as challenging as directors, content developers and acting itself.
That list includes Joyce Mhango-Chavula, Flora Suya, Mirriam Phiri, DipoKatimba and CathreenMlenga just to mention but a few.
Some players appearing on this list have managed to get international recognition by raking in several regional awards and nominations.
But the list of the players who are making their influence felt in the local film industry cannot be complete without the mention of Brenda Nselu.
The 34-year-old has had her footprints engraved in the country’s filmmaking echelons through different features both as an actress and director.
Perhaps her appearance in Mhango-Chavula’s 2017 award-wining production Nyasaland overrides most of what she has achieved as an actress. The movie managed to receive a nomination for best movie in Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).
The exploits of the movie Nyasaland helped propel Nselu among the best in the business. But her 2017 emergence only came after she had already starred in several other eye-catching productions.
In 2012 Nselu featured in a film titled Out Of Choice which was produced by Pascal Bagaluza from Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2013, she took a role in another Mhango-Chavula production No More Tears which also got a nomination at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA).
Nselu returned to the box in 2015 in another Mhango-Chavula production Lilongwe and her exploits in this film were rewarded with an award for best Southern Africa movie at the AMVCA. Individually she also won the best actress for her role in the movie at Shugu Namutitima awards in Zambia.
The actress-cum-filmmaker said she started her acting in secondary school at Mvera Girls in Dowa district where she featured in several stage drama productions. Her first trial at movie acting came only in 2012 and since then she has not looked back.
Nselu said she rides on the passion that she has for the art: “I have tried a number of things but it is on acting that I feel at home. I can reach to people, I can entertain them and I feel so alive when I am in front of the camera.”
But is acting all she wanted to be as she was a young girl? Nselu said she initially wanted to be a singer but it was never to be.
“I thought I would be a singer but then I discovered that I had the worst voice ever. I was also good at playing both football and netball during my primary school days. At some point I thought make a career out of that but it didn’t work out,” she said.
After taking up several roles as an actress, in 2019 Nselu swapped roles and assumed the directorial role for her movie Submerged which was originally slated to premiere this year in September only to be halted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
She hinted on her future plans: “I want to see myself acting on the international stage. I know I have so much talent to share with the world.”
Having worked with Nselu on a number of productions, Mhango-Chavula attests to the massive potential that the actress possess. She said she is undoubtedly one of the forces in the local film industry.
She said: “She is an awesome talent. Her passion and versatility to fit into any character she is given is so admirable. And her other power lies in her ability to listen to instructions which makes it easy for any director to work with her.”