She is one of Southern Africa’s most sought after faces, with a successful acting career on one of Mzansi’s most watched soap operas, Skeem Saam. Amanda Du Pont, the Swati nubian princess is draped in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future; making her the perfect muse for an explosive fashion alliance between SAB’s first premium flavoured alcoholic beverage, Flying Fish, and designers Rich Factory and Punk & Ivy.
Previdar Magazine’s first international cover effectuated this rousing collaboration against the palm-fringed beaches, white sailed dhows and turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean’s spice island, Zanzibar. Our muse, alongside fellow friend of Flying Fish – DJ Switch, was rip-roaringly alluring in Rich Factory and Punk & Ivy originals for the Flying Fish Beach Volleyball series. Scantily clad Maasai men, along the unparalleled broad white-sandy beaches, found her charm and sex appeal hard to resist. The chemistry was palpable, flavoursome, energetic and laced with synchronicity.
Amanda certainly has Mzansi pecking out of the palms of her hands and she tells us how she manages to curate such a cool and trendy wardrobe.
You are titled as one of South Africa’s media sweethearts?
I am honestly humbled by the love and support I receive. My career is alive because people love and appreciate my craft. They are not groupies or fans but genuine supporters of my work. When I deliver motivational speeches at underprivileged high schools, I see the true impact of my work. Kids scream and cry, teachers want to take pictures and it honestly brings me to tears. One cannot buy that love. I am truly blessed.
You have a very interesting palate to work with, would you consider yourself a fashion risk taker?
Thank you. I certainly take fashion risks. I believe style is meant to inspire and enchant. It is the best way to add a dash of elegance to your wardrobe.
How would you describe your style aesthetic?
Wow, I have so many different looks and each look speaks to the multifaceted person I have always been. One of my personal favourites is a sporty chic look, mainly because it is just as comfortable rocking out it at a musical festival, as it is when checking the tension of a tennis racquet. My style influences range from the structural silhouettes of New York City’s skyline to East Africa’s spectacular panoramas and tropical-chic lifestyle. My style, as an artist, is my expression to the world.
We are going through a very print friendly phase in fashion where our prints are seen on New York runways – Do you find the international interest endearing?
Prints were in season last year as well. This is not new. Africa is always the inspiration when new ideas are needed. It’s time we see our value and stop waiting for international validation on runways and celebrities. I find it endearing only if it’s worn in an unexpected way. So finding ways to wear our prints in ways you would not usually wear it at home is great. Just remember, be different and tasteful.
We move swiftly into tapping into her lifestyle and probe a bit more into who she is and what she looks for in the kind of man that she hopes to marry.
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. What luxury item can you not live without?
I am not materialistic, however, I do appreciate good underwear. I cannot live without my premium underwear. No one may be able to see it, but I can feel it.
Which destination has proven to be the perfect hiatus for you?
Even after all my travels around the globe. Home will always be my place of rest. My family has a serene farm in Swaziland, with a dam overlooking a river. The setting is insane, my family and I love it so much.
With everything you take on, what type of man must he be to handle your lifestyle?
I need a man who understands what pain is. A man who can be wealthy, lose it all and make it again. A man who fears and worships God wholeheartedly, he needs to be thrilled and proud to see how busy I am and support my career. He needs to believe in my dream, but most importantly, loves me for me.
Is there a family thread in the pipeline for you?
Absolutely! What is the point of achieving success, if you have no one to share it with? For now I am still running on high speed. God has been good and my plate is full. And I still want to do so much more! I am, however, maternal and I am a natural nurturer. I am excited to have children and a family to call my own, one day.
Her love and life goals seem to be quite in check and we now probe to see how her career has been mapped out.
What was the turning point in your career where you knew acting is what you wanted to do?
I knew at 17 that acting was for me. My English teacher in school advised me to take this as a career after my final English speech. It was the only thing I did that never felt like work. I loved to see people respond to my craft. At that age I became addicted to entertaining people and making them feel emotion. I had been acting since I was 5 years old and I was in every school theatre production, dance group and choir. It really was an easy choice to make.
What is the worst thing that you have heard people say about you?
I’ve heard it all. From things like, I’m just light skinned, I’m shapeless, I can not act, I probably slept my way to get to where I am, I’ve been engaged etc. What’s great is that I really don’t care. Bad publicity is better than no publicity and in the long run, it’s your work that will keep you relevant so I just focus on that.
It becomes quite clear at this point that to survive in this industry you have to have a thick skin and to become more than what is populated about you, investing in your craft is not such a bad idea. In closing we ask her to share her views on black excellence particularly where women are concerned in the entertainment industry.
With the small pool of black women taking over the industry and its entertainment space, what do you think the greatest challenge is that faces you all?
Black woman need to stand to together and empower each other. We need to love ourselves more. Before complaining we should be appreciative of the work we have been blessed with. Black women in the industry are growing strong and becoming more independent I just wish they would focus more on the task at hand. Doing their job and doing it well. Honing their craft. Publicity is just part and parcel of the craft but if it doesn’t pay I don’t see why one should place so much importance on it. We also need more role models and woman who fight to see their dreams come to pass.
Interview by Star Khulu. Article by Thabiso. Styled by Rina Chunga. Make-up by Queen Motlatle. Directed & Photographed by Lawrence Manyapelo.