Mbali Ntul as Wandi (left).
Mbali Ntuli, who plays Wandi on the popular local series Rhythm City, is portraying South Africa’s first lesbian character in an ongoing soap series.
She and her groundbreaking character have been featured on the US website AfterEllen.com.
While Ntuli is very clear about the fact that she is straight in real life, her character recently revealed that she is a lesbian on the show after moving in with her possible love interest Lu.
While Lu claims to not be gay, and has trouble dealing with Wandi being a lesbian, spoilers from future episodes reveal that their friendship might develop into a possible romance.
“I like the fact that [Wandi] is this independent woman who knows exactly what she wants. And it is a move away from the vulnerable characters I portrayed in my earlier roles. Wandi is smart and sophisticated. She has her own talk show. In terms of her sexual orientation, I was told she goes both ways, which can be interesting,” Ntuli earlier this year told The Star newspaper.
Lesbians bear the brunt of homophobia-based hate crimes in South Africa and it is hoped that the character may play a part in diminishing violence against LGBT people.