Tell us a little about yourself – who is Bonnie Henna?
I’m a wife, mother, sister an every type of woman.I live my life passionately. I’m adventurous, quirky and introspective; also quiet generous. I’m an entrepreneur, actress, motivational speaker and a budding writer.
You started acting from quite a young age. What was your first gig and how was that like?
Wow, my first gig was many yeas ago. It was a show called Viva Famalies2 on TV 2 at the time, starring Hlomla Dandala who played my older brother. I recall it being quiet challenging as I was not as comfortable on camera as I am now, but it was fun too.
You are also such a natural in front of the camera. Did you ever have any formal training to be an actress?
I haven’t had any formal training as an actress at all, everything I’ve learnt has been by doing. I never had an opportunity to train because of financial constraints, it’s obviously a privilege to train but if one can’t, it’s still possible to pursue the dream.
You and your husband, Sisanda, recently came back to SA after spending some time in the States. How long did you stay there for and how was life that side?
We didn’t stay there for too long; we spent time there in 2006 for three months and in 2007 for 6 months. It was a really intense time of self discovery; coming face to face with the reality of what our dreams would cost and deciding if that was a price we could afford or not. I didn’t enjoy the American social landscape; I found it limiting and too American; by that I mean closed to other cultural influences.
On the movie Invictus, you got to act alongside big industry names such as our very own Tony Kgoroge and internationals Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Please tell us about the experience.
I really enjoyed watching the movie, making it was quiet challenging as I was pregnant, tired and very emotional. Most of my scenes were with Morgan Freeman, I respect him as an actor but found him quiet unfriendly as a person.
Survivor SA Maldives. How was that like?
Survivor Maldives stands out as one of the most memorable events of my life. It was very challenging, its timing was perfect as I needed a bridge to help me walk back into public consciousness. Physically, I was still packing a lot of extra weight from the pregnancy and I lost 10kg while on the island, couldn’t have asked for a better diet. Spiritually and emotionally very trying but all in all an extraordinary experience.
What projects are you currently busy with?
I am currently working on Rhythm City. I joined the show as a new character, her name is Nozipho.
Now, on to your hair. For as long as we could remember you’ve always worn your hair short. From the bald look to the TWA (teeny-weeny-afro). Why the choice to wear your hair naturally?
Wow, I’ve worn my hair short for about fifteen years now, from the bald look to now. I love my hair natural as I feel it best expresses my personality. It’s a true reflection of what I’m about, its simple, truthful and with no fuss. I’m not the type who enjoys going to the hair salon every week, can’t stand the smell of relaxer, the health of my hair is at its best when my hair is worn naturally.
Do you find there is a lot of pressure in the film/entertainment industry for one to relax or weave their hair? How do you deal with this pressure?
Internationally, yes. I found in L.A, people were very hostile to the idea of me wearing my hair natural. For them, it seemed quite a shameful thing. I definitely stood out. It seemed the industry only understood black women in a weave or relaxed hair context. Locally I find there isn’t as much pressure, although you would still need to stand your ground if you want to keep your hair natural, especially on a soap or regular series because it appears much easier to maintain. I just don’t see it that way.
Congrats again on winning the DStv Style Award for the best hairstyle. Which hairstyle won you this award?
Thank you. It was a very simple hairstyle, it was just two long braids,using synthetic hair fibre, plaited real long down the back .
You always go for the hairstyles most people wont dare to try (eg your current one & previously chiskop), but you manage to pull them off so well. What inspires your look in terms of hair?
The way I wear my hair is a very important part of my creative expression. I love playing around with ideas and trying new things and I do this with my clothing and my hair. I don’t see why I should keep doing what’s been done before. I also find that my hair changes or lifts my mood and even influences the way I dress; so it has to compliment everything I’m about. I’m very daring and bold with my style.
How do you take care of your hair? What is your hair regimen?
I wash my hair twice a week and drink lots of water. My hair grows healthier and my hairline is stronger when I drink lots of water. I moisturize it everyday. I lean more towards natural oils e.g coconut and olive oil; I do regular treatments and I love my hair. When I handle my hair, I speak to it; I tell it that it is beautiful and that I love it just the way it is. I need to do that because it speaks to a deeper place in me that has been filled with messages from my environment which reinforce that black hair is not good hair or that it is high maintenance. Through regularly speaking positive affirmations about my hair to myself, I’ve grown confident in wearing it any way I wish, despite what people might think or say.
Any particular hair products you use and love?
I do a lot of braids because my hair grows faster that way, so I use Sta soft-fro braid spray, Ladine hair renewal (with tea tree oil and yang yang oil for my hairline and medicated MPL oil for my scalp.
Any plans to lock your hair in the future?
I do have plans to lock my hair in the near future, I haven’t decided on a specific time but i’ll know when its time, I still want to experiment some more with my hair as it is. I’m working on a healthy afro right now.
What piece of advice could you give to other young people trying to make their mark in Mzansi?
Do what you love; what you’re passionate about; don’t shy back from your passion because you haven’t seen others succeed at it; dont let others failure or success determine how far you can go; most of all be yourself; ,trust in the Lord your God with all your heart, acknowledge Him in all you do and He will direct your path.