MARTHA is the backbone of her kitchen, preparing and cooking delicious food for her regular customers. 

Khayakazi Kula (32) plays the kind cook in the telenovela The Queen.

“She is very nosy and nothing goes on without her knowing,” said Khayakazi.

“There are no delays when Martha is in the kitchen,” she said. 

But in real life, despite cooking mogodu, steamed bread and samp, Khayakazi can’t match restaurant standards. 

“I’m starting cooking lessons next month. 

“I want to know how to cook different meals.”

The actress said this will come in useful when she is at home in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth. 

“Cooking will also boost my confidence when I have guests at my Gauteng house.”

Khayakazi’s first TV role was on as Tyhileka in 2008 and her first lead was that of Lizeka in Intsika. 

“It really launched my career and built the kind of actress I am,” she said.

Khayakazi said she got the role of Martha soon after finishing shooting the first season of Isikizi as young Nomazwe. 

“I got a call from casting director Twiggy Matiwane. She said she had a small role for me with potential for growth.” 

Khayakazi has been playing Martha for over a year. 

She said she likes her character because she is kind and helpful.

“Just like me,” said Khayakazi.

As a teenager back home, the actress was an active member of the Masazane Club, which taught traditional dancing, poetry, singing and acting. 

They performed around the Eastern Cape and that’s when she fell in love with acting.

“I also imitated church members. I used to mimic how they preached, prayed and walked. Little did I know it would become my career one day.” 

Khayakazi studied public relations and communications at the University of Joburg. 

She also attended acting workshops to sharpen her skills.

Khayakazi said her craft taught her to be determined and to have patience. “I didn’t always have work but stood firm and believed my career would take off, no matter how long it took,” said Khayakazi.

“I prayed for the role of Martha and got it. You name what you want,” said Khayakazi.