The new series Noughts and Crosses debuted on BBC One in March 5th and it’s so interesting to discover our very own talent from South Africa shinning amongst the greats on a leading role.

Masali Baduza stars in Noughts and Crosses as Sephy

South African actress Masali Baduza stars alongside BAFTA winner Jack Rowan, together they play Sephy and Callum, two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Sephy (played by Masali Baduza) is the privileged daughter of the home secretary , Kamal Hadley, while Callum’s mother, Meggie, is the Hadleys’ housekeeper. While Sephy and Callum grew up together, they may as well have lived in different worlds. This series is the adaptation of the first book in Malorie Blackman’s best-selling young adult novel series which tells the story of a parallel universe where black people (crosses) are the dominant class in society and white people (noughts) are segregated into an underclass. Mixing between the two races is forbidden but when Callum, a nought, and Sephy, a cross, fall in love, their world view is turned upside down in this Romeo and Juliet-esque tale.

Masali Baduza & Jack Rowan

Masali Baduza is an actress from South Africa  and plays a leading role of Persephone ‘Sephy’ Hadley in Noughts and Crosses. This 24 years old first professional acting role came in 2019, just three years after she graduated from the New York Film Academy in 2016. She featured on MNet’s hit series that broke viewing records on the channel, Trackers & also went to feature on the film Bhai’s Cafe.

She is certainly one of the great actresses to look out for in future and more especially in Hollywood. She leads a series that just became No. 1 show across all channels when it premiered on 5 March 2020 in Britain & scored 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A great moment that really calls for appreciation to have such a talent coming from our country. Such is the impact that her relatively new career has already had on popular culture that she has already been the subject of platforms like Vogue & Deadline to name a  few. 

“Prior to reading Malorie’s books, I had never heard of a world that existed where Africans were the ruling class,” says Baduza.

“It was unique and it made me feel warm inside, to imagine a world where this could be a possibility.”

When it came to telling the story, Malorie knew what she wanted, “What I wanted to do was have the black people in my story not as victims, but celebrating their own culture,” says Malorie Blackman.

“I remember the first time I wore an afro at school, I was sent out of the class for being a troublemaker. It was this thing of black people being penalised for wearing our own natural hair. The celebration of African culture in myriad forms gives a different sensibility to what has been on TV before.”

Masali is a breathtakingly beautiful and her performance on the series sets a great tone as where her career is headed to. We can’t wait to see her cast in very powerful roles telling these necessary stories that portray us as Africans in such a great light. We also looking forward to see her flourish and taking on different range of characters as she grows to become one of the most celebrated artists in the world.

Watch Noughts + Crosses on Showmax:

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