By Walusungu Lundu
I HAD reached a point where I felt like quitting, where I got a lot of bad comments; a lot of bad energy from people who hated the character I play in Mpali, says Hellena Kaumba who plays the role of Chola in the celebrated local drama series that airs on Zambezi Magic.
Hellena’s career didn’t kick off after signing the deal with A List Media which resulted into her getting a role of Chola in Mpali, her career dates as far back as 2015 while she was in school. While in school, the Christmas baby born in 1997 scooped best actress award in the NASAZ competition three times at national level. The first one was in 2015, second in 2016 and the last one was in 2018.
Despite her massive talent, her father was seemingly not in support of her directing all her energies into the acting career. He just wanted his daughter to study hard and get good grades. But the passion for acting couldn’t let Hellena get her father’s advice. She resorted to sneaking out of the house and do the acting behind her father’s back.
Hellena was first on TV when she and her team mates upgraded a named school play into a feature film and it aired on Zambezi Magic.
Afterwards, she went to the Copperbelt and did another project called ‘Pay Back’; from there she got herself a contract with Wycliff Mwamba. She did City on Fire season two, a drama series that aired on Zambezi Magic. It was after then that she got herself a contract with A List Media and she took up the role for Chola in the arguably biggest and most lovable Zambia’s drama series. Mpali is what resulted into Hellena being a household name; her biggest dream is to be in Hollywood.
For those wondering who Chola, the character Hellena plays in Mpali is like, Chola is a problematic “baby mama” to Nguzu’s ‘notorious’ son Hambe. She likes causing trouble at the old man’s plantation mostly by picking fights with Hambe and his wife Chibale.
Commenting on the same character, Hellena said she has found herself in situations before where people thought she is Chola, the bad girl in real life.
Hellena who also disclosed that she loved to be on set with Hambe, however clarified that Chola has nothing to do with who she is in real life.
“Chola has nothing to do with who I am, it’s just a character that I play and I try to portray it as real as possible; but no, I can’t say Helena is like that. And it’s good being on set with Hambe, he is a good friend, he is a very good character; I enjoy being on set with him,’’ Hellena explains. ‘’We communicate well, we understand each other better and that makes it easy for him and I to execute those characters. He is respectful. I have found myself in situations where people think yes, I’m Chola, I’m the bad girl in real life. But no, I’m not and I can’t manage to explain to everybody. A lot of people say Chola is annoying, Chola is too loud…I just don’t let that get to me because people don’t just understand and believe that I execute the role very well for me to be getting on people’s nerves like that.”
Hellena also revealed that because of the same character, she at once reached a quitting point.
“I had reached a point where I felt like quitting, where I got a lot of bad comments, a lot of bad energy from people where they just hated the character and I was like ‘okay, why am I doing this’? It used to bring me down,’’ says Hellena. ‘’It was so demoralising, I lost my self-esteem; I just reached a quitting point. But through the help of God, I pulled through and I told myself that let me just do what I love to do.”
By Walusungu Lundu