TV Personality is Back in FAME in Joburg, South Africa For Lala Tuku, there is more than just a touch of déjà vu around her current role. She's set to star as the teacher, Miss Sherman, in the production of Fame – The Musical at the weekend, a part she played while still a grade 12 pupil at the National School of the Arts (NSA) in 1999.
“Almost 16 years later,” she says, “I'm given an opportunity to relive a moment on stage and one that was a big moment in my life. I just couldn't resist.”
And that's quite a statement for someone who has already achieved so much.
After matriculating from the NSA, Tuku (née Monamodi) obtained her degree from Afda in 2002. She went on to carve a significant career in theatre, film and TV (she's best known for her role as Paris Zondi in Scandal), seamlessly moving from in front of the camera to behind the scenes; from pre-production to post-production and from research and content development to voice coaching.
Since establishing her own corporate entertainment company in 2006, she now wears the hat of events manager – with distinguished portfolios like that of Stakeholder Relations for The National Film & Video Foundation and Project Manager of the upcoming South African Film & TV Awards (Saftas) under her belt.
Now, Tuku ditches her business wardrobe for rehearsal gear every evening, when she heads “back to school”.
“It was important for me to take this opportunity to contribute to the NSA's incredible Festival of Fame, of which Fame – The Musical is just one of many productions. Since its inception 14 years ago, the festival has grown to become one of the most important youth arts event on the country's arts landscape,” she explains.
Tuku forms part of a contingent of professional actors participating in the festival, including Jonathan Taylor, Helen Desbois and Dean Roberts.
“I am passionate about developing this country's arts and creative industries and Festival of Fame – with its dozens of learner and professional productions – is a totally amazing and unique platform to showcase the country's current and future stars, as well as to inspire audiences with the stunning array of dance and drama productions, music concerts and truly spectacular art exhibitions and installations,” she added.
With the backing of such a popular entertainment personality, who are we to argue?
• Festival of Fame takes place at the Joburg Theatre Complex and the adjacent National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, until Sunday. With the support of Assitej (International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People) South Africa, the festival also offers a host of multi-nominated and award-winning professional productions. Full programme at festivaloffame.co.za. Book at joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 760 670. Tickets from only R80 for a full day pass to all shows.
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