Home Mzansi Celebs isiBaya’s Iris is a ‘modern Mfaze we Phepha’

isiBaya’s Iris is a ‘modern Mfaze we Phepha’


She is the urban version of mfazi we phepha, a total snob and a diva.Mampho Brescia

It’s safe to say Iris is ‘Devil wears Prada’ on isiBaya. She earns this name through her lead character where she stages as a classy bitch who won’t stop till things go her way.

Gorgeous Mampho Brescia, 36, is no new face on the screens as she is best known for her role as Zanele, the lover of the title character in the M-Net drama series Jacob’s Cross – and is certainly shaking up the TV screens with her exceptional acting skills.

Brescia chats to Sowetan LIVE about Mampho and her character Iris.

1. Who is Mampho Brescia?

A woman who respects her past, connects intensely to the present and projects her dreams and aspirations into the future.

2. How different is Mampho from Iris?

As an actor, it is my job to understand and respect the character I am portraying, without being judgmental. In terms of my personal characteristics, one of the major differences from Iris is that I am aware that what goes around comes around, and that true happiness is achieved as a result of personal peace rather than only from the security of material wealth.

3. Does Mampho have any similarities with Iris?

We are both intensely feminine, we both appreciate nice things although maybe not for the same reasons.

4. Are you married or single?

I have been happily married for over 8 years. A grounded family life is a very important aspect of my wholeness as a person. In terms of nationality, I believe that the important criteria in a life partner is not necessarily ethnicity or nationality, but rather character, goodness of heart, virtue and spiritual wholeness.

5. Please define Iris’s character from your own views?

She is a modern Mfaze we Phepha. She has huge ambitions, a modern lady Mcbeth. Ruthless, manipulative, focused, a modern material girl.

Iris is an absolute bi*ch as well as very manipulative, will her high status ever come to an end? Watch and see…If there is one thing I have learned in life is that the only constant thing is change.

6. Have you come across ladies who are like Iris? Are there any?

Of course there are, it is why the character resonates with the public and is well integrated in the story line.

7. Before Isibaya what were you up to?

I was living and working in Los Angeles within the film/ tv industry. It has been a great formative experience.

9. Tell us more about your acting career, when did it kick off?

I have been acting since I was a child. It has been a constant passion in my life. It allows me to explore different facets and personalities. It is important for me, though, to be a whole person, and nurture my personal growth as well as professional ambitions.

10. What are your greatest lessons in acting?

Listening and reacting. Understanding that it is not only about me but whoever I am interacting with and the situation that my character is immersed in, being true to the moment.

How is the public reacting to you since playing Iris?

It’s great to see how people enjoy the character (Iris) and appreciate the work I perform in bringing her to screen. Most people can differentiate between the actor and the character.

Would you say your role on isiBaya is one of your biggest career role?

Maybe in terms of public perception. Each part I have interpreted has played an important role in my growth as an actor, by allowing me to delve into a variety of characters and having the opportunity to work with some great professionals.

Born in Johannesburg and raised in Soweto, Brescia attended school in Johannesburg and later earned a degree in International Relations from Wits University.

She began her television career in 1998, presenting the show Reality Check. Her first acting role in television was a guest starring role as Mbali in the SABC1 soapie Generations, in 2002.

All we know is nothing stays the same on Mzansi magic’s intriguing soapie isiBaya on weekdays Monday to Thursdays as more drama is set to unveil.



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