Boasting decades of experience on television – from the 1980s sitcom Sgudi S’naysi days to being a three-time consecutive South African Film and Television Awards winner – Linda Sebezo’s craft stays unmatched.
Her success all started with hiking; little did she know that the Beemer (BMW) that stopped was being driven by the late legendary creative, Gibson Kente. He gave her a lift and that was the beginning of a successful lifetime career. There is no predicting what will come out of Linda's mouth, she speaks her mind and tells Move! about all that has made her who she is.
EARNING R25 A MONTH
“When we got into the car, I realised that it was Bra Gib and I boldly told him that I wanted to act. He gave me his address and I went to audition in his garage,” she says. At first try, she was in and given a lead role on a theatre show. “I found Brenda Fassie there. I was there to make my mark too,” she says. Linda says she has never felt the need to tone her personality down to make other people feel comfortable.
“To this day, it doesn’t matter who is prettier than me in a room but when I enter, they know that Linda has arrived,” she says. She was earning R25 a month while working with Bra Gib, money she says supported her family and was able to bury her grandmother who taught her to fight for what was hers. “That is why I am not afraid to go for what I want. I always know how to claim and own my space. From a young age, my grandmother would tell me that when someone beats me up in the street, I should take a stone and make sure I hit them on their forehead. She taught me to fight back,” she says.
NOTHING CAN KEEP HER DOWN
In 2008, she was arrested for a crime she says she didn’t commit. “Heh! It was a dark time when I was arrested for what I didn’t not do. I was in Sun City Maximum Prison for three months!” she sighs. The 53-year-old mother of two children – Thandi (20) and Fezile (15) – says she could have given up but that is not in her nature. Instead, in prison, she was teaching women how to dance, act and sing.
“I don’t know what depression is. I have never let my life be destroyed by circumstances. I decided long ago to live my life the best way I want to and that’s what I am doing.” Upon her release, she stayed about a year without a job. She had to move into a one-room house because she lost her house. Linda explains, “I grew up living with over 20 cousins in the house, eating from the same dish, sleeping on the floor and living a very basic life but we were happy. So, going back to a oneroom never broke me. I just focused on raising my children and working on my craft.”
BEING A SINGLE MOTHER
“What can you say? You can’t force a man to support his children. You can only be thankful that they gave you children,” she says. Her children say they are spoilt rotten and that there is nothing they lack. “My mom spoils me a lot. As we speak, I am waiting for the latest iPhone,” says the bubbly Thandi.