Winnie Mzembe is an Australian actress defying the odds, and combatting the stereotype of an Aussie Actor. She has wowed audiences both in theatre and on screen and continues to generously share her craft.
Winnie began intense training at an early age and continued to develop her craft and as an actor throughout her adolescence.
Winnie is currently working on a feature film, 3 short films, and is producing her first film. Winnie is an enthusiastic voice for the youth and is a perfect representation of a LADY BOSS.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Growing up, all the shows on television never really portrayed the multicultural country I lived in. There was no one to really look to as an example of what I could be. I realized I needed to be the change I wanted to see in the industry.
I hope now when little brown girls watch me on their screens, can say “Wow, that’s where I can be in 10 years”. I want to pave the way for emerging artists and remind kids of color who are feeling marginalized that you can do it too, and you shouldn’t feel limited.
Tell us about your business.
With my business, I aim to convey stories that inspire, motivate and educate people. When we watch films, we are moved in many ways. The importance of showcasing truthfulness means a great deal to me.
My business is founded on the belief that filmmakers, along with all other artists, harbor the responsibility of showcasing to the world how society “was”, “could be” and “is”.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would
like our readers to know about?
Right now, our business is currently producing its first feature. This excites me because I’m able to learn more about the creative process and delve deeper in the technicalities of it all.
It’s always an exciting road to be on. You allow others to freely share in the joys of the creative process.
- 2001, Participated in a tournament of Minds and was the lead actress.
- 2004, Cast as “Crow” in Rat’s of Nihm, stage production for Lister, AAA workshops.
- 2005, Recipient of the Public Speaking Award for a Brisbane annual speaking competition.
- 2008, Received an award of excellence from a well-renowned acting coach and drama co-ordinator D. Findlay.
- 2008, Auditioned for the senior extension programs-granted
- 2010, Student at Queensland Actors Playhouse.
- 2010, Was an ambassador for the La boîte theatre company.
- 2010, Received a certificate for coaching principles.
- 2012, Was cast as “Sally” in the film “Half a Job”
- 2015, Portrayed a maid in the 5th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
- 2017, Played an Asgardian in the 3rd installment of THOR: Ragnarok,
- 2017, Played a masseuse in Aquaman.
- 2017, Winnie was cast as “Kinta” for the theatre production of “Notifications Anonymous”
- 2017, Was cast as Michelle in the award-winning film, Sophie’s Turn.
- 2018, Cast in 3 major short Films, a feature film, and studied in LA.
Where is your business based?
My business is based in my hometown in Queensland, Australia. I do hope to take it further and I’m very excited about what is ahead for the business. For me personally, I aim to take it global!
There is so much beauty on this planet and to immerse yourself into it is really rewarding in many aspects. In this industry, your office changes quite often. It’s a new and fulfilling experience each time.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- Making clear my path.
- Understanding what I wanted to achieve and how to go about it.
- Accepting putting in sweat, blood and tears were apart of the growth.
- I then made sure everything on my checklist was being completed daily.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your
business and getting new customers?
When conveying a story, my customers are everyday people – everyone, any age. I’m extremely lucky to be able to share stories as a way of raising awareness in many areas. most importantly by simply being true to myself and others.
Before entering the stage, and sometimes before jumping on set, I remind myself that people will take various things away from a performance, I just need to do what I do.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Growing up my challenges in the industry where defining who I was and where my place was. I never really knew what I was truly capable of and what my limits where.
As I grew older, I grew wiser and learnt from the mistakes made. I began to find my feet and ground myself. I became confident in my craft, and was able to take charge fearlessly.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I overcame these challenges, by simply staying true to my craft. I reminded myself to stay level headed and worked daily. I always sought out new ways to make the most of each day.
I always viewed each day as another chance to do something a little better than yesterday and I made sure to get the best to of each day, which lead me to overcoming my challenges. I would look these obstacles in the face, and say “I have a new way today, try stop me now”.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
- Eliminating negativity has always been very important to me, not paying to attention to the things that weigh you down.
- Knowing your strengths and applying them, but surrounding yourself with family has always been my strength.
- Looking after my health is also a big one.
- Filling my body with things it will thank me for later, is never a dull move.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
My story. My voice. Me. I want to be here. I’m not afraid to take the road less travelled. Some would say I remain vigilant, focused and endearing. I don’t disagree. I’m versatile and strong, but honest with what I do. Focusing on key elements and getting to the core, I am committed to bringing out the best in my craft.
I enjoy the challenge of accurately portraying the elements that are needed to captivate the audience, whether it be on stage or in front of the camera. I’m not one to waste time or dwell on the unnecessary.
I quite like doing my research and have a great deal of respect for this industry and those who work incredibly hard to make the impossible, possible. I co-run a boutique production company so I thrive on achieving greatness. I don’t think you can ever learn too much.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Stay humble and stay hungry. It works because it’s a constant encouragement to be on the mark at all times. No matter the situation.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- Stay committed. You gotta be on top of your game! Yes you will have bad days, but learn and grow from them.
- You will not succeed if you do not love what you do. It helps to stop, breathe and ask yourself, “Why am I really doing this?”
- Keep going. You have been placed here for a reason and it’s up to you to ultimately decide what you will do with the opportunity you have been given.
- Most importantly, “no” doesn’t mean “never gonna happen” it just means “not right now”. Put your best foot forward and march on. You are so much bigger than a “no”.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Number one is my mind! Sometimes in business you gotta be quick off your mark. Staying alert is important! Having a few role models along the way is wonderful, so long as you do not aim to BE them, but be inspired by them.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
My Father’s book titled: A Long Walk To Freedom. It really moved me and opened my eyes. I have found who I am, and have a whole new outlook on my origins.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I look for help from within. I cannot encourage listening to your heart enough! It sets you free and is very rewarding. I am also learning about editing and piecing the final touches together and how to expand and inspire others to do the same in their own unique way. I aim to lead by example.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals are to finish my 3 major projects. I aim to do this by being focused and persistent. I also aim to get the required equipment. I’m currently working on a feature film. I play a SERT officer, which is definitely a first for me, my goal is be the best I can be, and bring this character to life with passion and honesty.
I will also be working on 3 short films. In one film, I play a woman who comes back to life, in another I play a mother, and in the last I play a hypochondriac, confident woman. I’m excited to work on set of these films with amazing crew! I aim to achieve this by continuing to admire the craft and see it in new light.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Photographers: Ethan Hong and Jessica Kate Photography