By Bongani Ndlovu
When she was onstage, impressing and dazzling many during the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) in Harare this past weekend, deep down, radio and TV personality Donna N was a ball of nerves.
Donna N (real name Donna Ncube), who hosts the Singabantu Banye show on Skyz Metro FM (weekdays from 10AM to 2PM), had been given the huge task of hosting the prestigious awards show alongside seasoned radio and TV personality MisRed from ZiFM Stereo.
A Bulawayo Arts Awards Best Actress recipient (2017), Donna N outdid herself as she took charge of the stage. So impressive was she that most who watched the ceremony on various platforms commended her.
But for Donna N, the whole experience was nerve wrecking.
“It was a nerve wrecking moment as I knew a lot of people were looking at me and had high expectations. However, after conversing with a couple of friends, I realised that I could do this,” said Donna N.
This was her first time to present on a national stage and she remembers vividly, feeling giddy just before getting on stage.
“One of the most iconic moments was just before we got on stage with MisRed. The production crew was counting down the time to get on stage and I was still dressing up as there were a few delays.
“However, everything fell into place at the end and this (Nama gig) was a learning curve. I enjoyed every part,” she said.
Quizzed how she landed on the Nama stage, Donna N said she did not apply for the post.
“I was on radio (Skyz Metro) when I received a call from the event’s organisers who asked if I was ready to take up the job. I had mixed emotions as part of me was like ‘I can do this’ and another part was saying ‘are you trying to kid yourself, this is a national stage’.
“Worse off was the fact that I was going to host with MisRed,” said Donna N.
However, words of encouragement from her industry friends and colleagues such as choreographer Saimon Mambazo Phiri prepared her for the task.
“Mambazo told me that it was time for me to get out of my comfort zone with the likes of Lady Tshawe, Nondumiso and Rudo Amor also encouraging me.
“They all reminded me of my capabilities at a time when I was in doubt.”
In 2017, Donna N, who is also a presenter of ZBCtv’s dance series Tjukutja, won a Bulawayo Arts Award in the Outstanding Film Actress category for her role in The Lost Letter. The Chronicle