VISITING MALAIKA MOSENDANE
Trine: LOVELY SEEING YOU AGAIN MALAIKA… WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT?
Malaika: Right now, I am working at Holdbæk Theatre, where I play Rita in ‘Hugo the jungle-animal’. But I have just wrapped on a big Netflix series, which was released recently… meaning it was a while ago that I filmed it, since the editing process takes time, so it only just premiered on Netflix.
Trine: THAT IS JUST SO COOL… YOU ARE ONLY 22 YEARS OLD AND ALREADY HAVE A NETFLIX PRODUCTION ON YOUR CV… THAT IS CRAZY… HOW DID YOU MANAGE IT?
Malaika: I studied at the Theatre school in Odense, and studying there provides a spotlight for getting casted in different things, and then I got contacted by Rie Hedegaard, who is a caster and she is so nice and accomplished, and helped steer me though the process, and they ended up
choosing me for the role, which was a real surprise for me, because I had not expected it at all.
Trine: WOW, BUT THAT IS JUST SO CRAZY - AND THERE ARE MANY WHO IN THE COURSE OF A LONG CARRIER NEVER GET AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A ROLE SUCH AS THAT. SO IT IS JUST SUCH A COOL ACOMPLISHMENT…. YOU CAN DEFINITELY BE PROUD OF THAT.
Malaika: Thanks… But unfortunately it meant I had to choose, and chose to drop-out of school.
Trine: WHY DID YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE?
Malaika: I am simply not allowed to do both, and thereby I had to choose between school, and the job.
Trine: NO WAY… BUT THAT IS INSANE… THAT IS LIKE PULLING THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER YOU. WHEN YOU GET AN OPPORTUNITY LIKE THAT THEY SHOULD SUPORT YOU AND BE HAPPY FOR YOU… IT SOUNDS COMPLETELY CRAZY, WHAT A STORY. SO YOU BASICALLY GOT FORCED OUT, BECAUSE OF COURSE IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE TO TURN DOWN THE ROLE AND EVERYTHING THAT IT COULD TEACH YOU, WHICH IN THE END IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT THE SCHOOL CAN OFFER.
Malaika: Yes, it was really difficult… Also because I loved being at that school and never dreamt of ending up in a situation in which I had to reject it and quit.
Trine: VERY STRANGE THAT THEY DIDN’T OFFER YOU TO TAKE LEAVE AND THEREBY THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE THIS OPPORTUNITY. YOU WOULD THINK IT WOULD BE IN THE SCHOOLS BEST INTEREST THAT THEIR STUDENTS GOT SUCH POSSIBILITIES AND THEY WOULD BE PROUD AND HAPPY FOR YOU…IT IS SAD TO HEAR AND I UNDERSTAND WHY IT MUST HAVE BEEN A DIFFICULT DECISION.
Malaika: Yes, it really was… But it was an exciting role, so it made sense for me to say yes - a kind of ‘coming of age’ story where a dark main-character has to find their own identity and that is something I can relate to. If I, by taking that role, could be a role-model for other girls who might need a place to feel seen, then I have done my job and reached my goal.
Trine: HOW HAVE YOU FELT OUT OF PLACE?
Malaika: I have always had something about my body where I really have had a hard time accepting how I looked.
Trine: IN WHICH WAY?
Malaika: Maybe because it is very obvious I have a curvy body… Wide hips, big behind and in that way I haven’t been able to see myself reflected in my girlfriends, because none of them had a body like mine. It only really occurred to me that I had been missing it a couple of years ago, when I saw an advert on the side of a bus with all these different female bodytypes… One larger, one smaller, one curvey, and all of them being different ethnicities. It was amazing. I think it was then that it became clear to me how much of a disturbed view of my body I had inside my head. That advert became the beginning of my journey towards bettering my relationship with my body, but it has been and still is tough to learn to love yourself.
Trine: I REALLY UNDERSTAND THAT, AND I THINK MOST KIDS AND
YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO LOOK LIKE EACH OTHER. IT IS PROBABLY ONLY WHEN YOU GET OLDER THAT YOU START TO APPRECIATE YOUR OWN QUIRKS AND DIFFERENCES… AND MAYBE EVEN REACH A POINT WHERE YOU ARE PROUD OF THEM.
Malaika: Yes and therefore it means a lot for me if I can inspire a 13 year old girl, who looks like me, because that’s what I missed at that age. My mum is from South Africa and I think it would have been different had I grown up there… Then there would have been more women with the same body-type as me, and I have definitely missed it, and it has massively impacted my self-confidence because it is hard to feel so different.
Trine: YES; AND ON TOP OF THAT YOU ARE ALSO DEALING WITH
YOUR BODY CHANGING IN PUBERTY… WHAT YOU DESCRIBE PROBABLY ONLY ADDED TO THE ISSUE.
Malaika: Yes, and it is only now that I am standing with my wide and curvy hips that I don’t feel ashamed about my body, and am no longer trying to hide it. Perhaps, this is because I have finally acknowledged that my body looks the way it does, and I don’t need to look like those around me to be good enough.
Trine: ON THE OTHER HAND, IS THERE A HUGE FOCUS ON CURVY BODY-TYPES DUE TO THE KARDASHIANS: I WAS IN BRAZIL A COUPLE YEARS AGO AND THERE THE BUTT-LIFT AND BUTT-IMPLANTS WERE THE MOST COMMON COSMETIC SURGERY… AHEAD OF BREASTS AND ALL OTHER KINDS.
Malaika: Yes it is so crazy... Suddenly it was that my body-type was a part of the celebrity-stunt and a reality show… It was
completely the other end of the spectrum, and a weird sexualisation of my type of body… That wasn’t what I wanted either, although my girlfriends thought it was great for me and they said they were jealous.
Trine: IT IS SO INSANE WHAT PEOPLE GET UP TO… AND I CAN’T UNDERSTAND HOW THEY DARE RISK IT. NOW I AM ALSO THE TYPE WHO THINKS FAKE NAILS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH…SO A FAKE BUTT… NO THANKS!
Malaika: Yes, you are really risking your life… And you really have to want it to take that risk because it is actually really dangerous. I once saw this tv-show about it… Those operations are really hardcore and there is actually multiple of the them that dies because it goes wrong.
Trine: THAT IS DISGUSTING… YOU HAVE TO BE VERY UPSET WITH YOUR LOOKS TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
Malaika: Yes, but that is probably a very different story.
Trine: AND A DIFFERENT CULTURE ALTOGETHER.
Malaika: Exactly, - because even though I have been frustrated and felt like I was wrong and different, I never thought about it in that way.
Trine: AND THANK GOD FOR THAT. FOR YOU LOOK SO LOVELY AND PRETTY - AND INCREDIBLE THAT YOU ALSO HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE SO HONEST AND SHARE YOUR VULNERABILITY AND THOUGHTS.
THANK YOU FOR THAT MALAIKA… AND THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.