South African actress and TV personality, Bonnie Mbuli is back on the beat again. Bonnie is on the cast of the new BBC series, Noughts + Crosses, alongside other local talent Masali Baduza who plays the lead, Sephy.
In the series, Bonnie plays Jasmine Hadley, the wife of the home secretary Kamal Hadley (Paterson Joseph) and Sephy’s mom.
The SABC TV presenter said that being a ball actress the series was empowering for her, because she was not under pressure to change herself on set. However, Bonnie the storyline resembles that of apartheid scenarios where the Crosses, the minority, oppresses the Noughts, who are the majority.
“How I looked was just what they wanted. All the black actors literally had natural hair, down to every single last extra. I guess for me it just made me realise how much the beauty standard that’s being forced upon the world is so prevalent and has become so prevalent. We don’t even think about it anymore.
“You go through your career, having to change yourself, suddenly you walk onto a set, and they like ‘go back to the thing you really are’. I think it was empowering for everyone.”
Based on the novel by Malorie Blackman , the series is set in an alternate history where black ‘Cross’ people rule over white ‘Noughts.’
According to the actress, Jasmine Hadley “is a fun, loving character who at first is sad and torn and in a tumultuous relationship with her husband. And then, we see her become strong and make better choices throughout the series,” says Bonnie during a telephone interview.
“I think Noughts + Crosses apart from being a love story it’s a story that calls humanity to pay a bit more attention to the world around us,” Bonnie said.
However, Bonnie believes the message of the series is not judgemental, but sharing experiences that one can learn from.
“I don’t think it’s pointing fingers. It’s just saying look at the experience that other people have had their whole lives. And can you imagine what it must be like to live like that? It calls one to be a little bit more sensitive to people around them. And to understand what privilege is and how it works for you.”
“I signed on to do the show because it’s an important story. I wish that Noughts + Crosses was a book in our school the same way it is in the UK, Bonnie explained.
Noughts + Crosses explores the theme of racism, class, and war. The series was premiered on Thursday, 12 March at 22:00 on M-Net (DStv 101) and Showmax