Up Close & Personal with Khabonina - Reel evil, real honey
THE Wild's viewers are in for a roller coaster ride as Maxine, the black widow spider, rummages her way through the golden couple's tight nest.
And if they think they hate her now, wait until Khabonina Qubeka, who plays Maxine, the dangerously sly chick from Itumeleng Tladi's past, gets into her groove!
"People get shocked that I'm actually a nice person in reality."
But when she arrives at the selected restaurant in stylish animal print pants, a leather jacket and cowboyish boots, it was as if she had walked right out of a TV screen.
And, all aglow with abundant energy, she immediately organises a secluded spot upstairs.
Then, taking control of the interview, she fires off: "My day starts with Birkam Yoga. Do you know it? You start sweating the minute you sit down. It hurts but it does wonders for energy levels and skin."
Then she reveals how she helped to create Maxine.
"I mentioned to one of the producers that the first season of the soapie was too harmonious ... I suggested a few traits for a character who had to come and shake up the sleepy Tladi community.
"They had too many cupcakes for female parts."
The soapie producers gave her the role because of her level of understanding of the woman.
"But Maxine is something else - such a dark spirit. She's heartless ... I promise you, you will call me when her associates start to feel the full might of her black heart."
Qubeka believes she's been in training for this role since her first taste of TV, when she auditioned for the part of Doobsie in Muvhango back in 2007.
"I'm so happy I was auditioned for that role. I was told so many things," she says.
She then experiences something of a mental block: "Where were we?
"Oh, yes, I was told things I still remember today. One of them was that I have dramatic features."
" I was told my accent was wrong and my voice was too husky ..."
The agent who told her those things must be kicking herself today.
It could be these features that narrowed her dating options on and off screen.
"Men are scared of me. Before I got the Dance Your Butt Off judging role and a few others, I prayed to God for business or a great man. Yes, I got the business in abundance but now I regret having prayed for one of two choices. I should have said 'and' instead of 'or'," she laughs - then recalls some funny dating poopers. But that has not stopped her giving seductive dancing classes.
"Oh women love these classes and they look so good. Black women are sexy," she says. "It's our skin and curves. But the classes can be unbearable for others."
With so much travelling as a choreographer, she talks about how being a globetrotter has better prepared her for acting and dancing careers.
She has gotten lost in London, has dined with blue- blooded types in Germany and has swum with the nudists in Spain.
"All these experiences give you an international edge," she says. "But I can't live anywhere else. Africa owns my heart."
Off the record, Khabonina is a very feminine, talkative young woman who laces her isiZulu with a lot of Tsotsitaal. It's a bizarre switch between perfect English and township lingo.
"You should've seen me when The Bold And The Beautiful's Sheila the psycho's SA visit was announced. I said 'she must come here. I'm going to show her a thing or two'.
"An actress's performance must affect you like that." That's how Maxine will affect audiences too.
Khabonina "might have to hire a bodyguard."
Ag, don't kill her. She really is a nice person - with a personality that just happens to be too much for one person.
ngudlea@sundayworld; follow me on Twitter @amandan777