Actress Samkelo Ndlovu was left shaken by an encounter with a director she accused of making suggestive moves towards her.
Samkelo has spoken out before on the dangers of sexual harassment in the industry and the casting couch where “favours” are asked for in exchange for roles.
Speaking about her own experience on Afternoon Express this week, she said the incident happened when she was younger and was auditioning for roles.
“It really only happened to me once and it’s not something that I have shed light on or wanted the spotlight to be on me about. You know this whole casting couch thing where ‘if you want this role, wink, wink’. I must have been 21 and he is a well-known director right now. I was in danger because we were alone in the room but my reflexes were better than his.”
She did not go into anymore details about the incident but said it left her in tears.
“I just remember that day. I remember calling my agent crying and saying to her, ‘this is what happened. I can’t believe that he did this’. He didn’t touch me or do anything but the suggestiveness of it really hit home.”
Samkelo said that looking back she regretted not talking up about it at the time to make more women aware. Now she wants to share the message that women can get roles without having to do ‘favours’.
Since the explosion of the #MeToo movement late last year, actresses both here and abroad have shared their experiences of being harassed by those in power in the industry.
Veteran actress Pamela Nomvete shared her own experience in November and said the incident left her feeling violated.
“He was telling me: ‘You will have to be naked in this film so I want you to be comfortable with me’. And I was thinking: ‘Yeah, I know that in the movies we are, and especially as women you kind of have to show your t*ts if you going to make it. If I want to get that award I have to show my t*ts’. So I went there thinking: ‘Let me just do this’ and something, maybe my ancestors, spoke to me and there was a point I thought, ‘No, I can’t do this’. I kind of ran out the house but, you know, literally humiliated, grabbing my clothes,” she said.