Kholwa played by Celeste Khumalo
Kholwa is St Agnes’s head girl, clever and accomplished. But is even she hiding a deep secret?
In Showmax Original The Girl From St Agnes, the staff and students of a private girls’ school in the Midlands are torn apart by the mysterious death of popular student Lexi Summerveld. As the facts start to emerge, it seems like everyone has something to hide.
Kholwa is St Agnes’s head girl, clever and accomplished. It’s a huge honour and one she wears with pride. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Kholwa must set the tone for the rest of the girls, and she responds with quiet dignity.
But is there a dark side to this seemingly perfect girl? Why was she seen in town with headmaster Chris Whittaker, acting just a bit too familiar? Lexi knows far too much, and she’s willing to use that knowledge to threaten Kholwa’s mapped-out future.
About the actress
Joburg girl Celeste Khumalo was introduced to South Africans as the last Miss SA Teen in 2011. Now, she’s the woman everyone loves to hate in The Queen, in which she plays Linda, Shaka’s devious baby mama. On top of that, she’s a savvy businesswoman who used to own a nail bar, and is studying for her MBA.
Celeste’s high school experience at Parktown Girls’ was far from traumatic. “It was fun for me really. I stayed out of trouble but was quite popular at the same time. […] I never wanted to be head girl, but in a way I ended up being head girl of the country as Miss Teen SA!” she jokes.
She did, however, identify with Kholwa’s tricky family situation. “The big issue, the drama that surrounds Kholwa has to do with her parents, with being raised by a single mother and having parents who are not together. That touched home. I know exactly what Kholwa was going through. It’s okay, I’ve moved on, but then you have to really bring that up again and show it emotionally on screen – that was hard.”
She was attracted to the character and story, but also to the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in SA. “I never thought I’d be acting alongside such strong names,” she says. “It made me feel like I have a place here; it allows me to accept that I am talented and that I can be diverse in my roles as well, and trust myself and my abilities. It was also with female directors – which was a new experience for me.”