A few weeks later, people adore Zim-Zim
Johannesburg - Barely three weeks after her debut on Lockdown’s season 3, people are already in love with Grace AKA Zim-Zim, the serial killer who keeps everyone on the edge of their seats.
Zim-Zim is played by the insanely talented award-winning actress and reality TV star Manaka Ranaka.
This season’s story line is keeping everyone glued to their screens and we are head over heels with how Ranaka plays her character and makes everything believable and real.
Zim-Zim became the talk of the town when she made her debut a few weeks ago. On her first appearance she looked vulnerable, as she opened her big eyes widely, looking up, quoting Bible verses and laughing nonstop.
So who is Zim-Zim?
Zim-Zim, who grew up in different orphanages and churches, is a lunatic who witnessed her parents and little bother being killed.
She goes around looking for an innocent soul who can replace her brother.
The 39-year-old mother of two was chilled when she met to talk about her character – she looked comfortable in grey leggings paired with a grey T-shirt, sneakers and a denim jacket.
The role she plays in the drama series was written specifically for her and she did not have to audition.
She says even though she does not feel as if she has “made it”, this role has made her more recognisable and she wants to do more.
“I was chuffed about that because time and again as award-winners you still find yourself having to audition for certain roles; it becomes a bit of a schlep. When I started shooting, that is when I looked at the skies and said ‘God you are there’.”
Ranaka says when she saw the script for the first time she could not stop laughing, but the seriousness, the evil and the sickness came as she kept reading.
“When you go through situations that are horrible in life, you get to see that anyone can turn out to be just like the monsters that butchered her family. I am glad to be the tool that is used to educate or heal the country through my craft.”
Proof that Ranaka is the best of the best is that playing the crazy butcher did not require her to do a lot of research.
She might not have professional training in acting, but she delivers her work perfectly.
“I put myself in the shoes of that person, because number one I am lending that person my entire body and the next thing I need to lend them a little bit of my soul. The only preparation was to learn my lines. Mandla [Ngcongwane, the creator and director] and I put a lot of work into this character,” she says.
The most challenging thing about playing the lunatic, she says, is having to dig deep into her soul and become a monster. It is not an easy task.
She plays another criminal on Generations: The Legacy so the transition from Lucy to Zim-Zim is not really a hassle for her.
“Lucy is a different type of criminal, she is a hustler but she hustles in wrong ways.
“This one [Zim-Zim] is crazy, there is something missing in her head, she is sadistic, she does not belong in there [jail] but in a mental institution … she is evil. I don’t know,” she says. “I am glad I could wash her out of my system.”
She says shooting with the cast was amazing and she got to work with some of the people she looked up to. Her wish is to see the feminine side of the prisoners not just the toughness.
The people who love the no-nonsense-talking Lucy can relax because she is still on Generations: The Legacy.
She and Mrekza – Kope Makgae – are still trying to have a child. The only problem is that Lucy wants to adopt and Mrekza wants to have a surrogate … plus Lucy is going to cheat.
Right now Ranaka and the family are shooting The Ranakas season 3 and she says people can expect more drama – and craziness.
Lockdown season 3 airs on Monday at 20:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).
(Photo: Daniel Coetzee)