Although Gail Mabalane merely plays the part of a ‘black diamond’ in Ferguson Film’s Rockville, she is more of a black diamond than you could imagine.
Exquisite, rare and opaque, these gems are most valued for their artistic beauty and mysterious allure, much like Gail.
Those who have seen Rockville know that a “black diamond” is a term used by Shona Ferguson and Shaleen Surtie-Richards’ characters to refer to the best escorts working in the underground club that they run on the show.
Gail played the part of the original ‘black diamond’ before she took a hiatus from Rockville. Now, fans can rejoice about the fact that she will be returning to reprise her role in the upcoming fourth season of the popular show.
She has been very busy in the interim and though her beauty is always a factor in the roles that she plays, she never seems to play the same character twice. To date, she has played a crafty escort, a shrewd businesswoman and the dual role of an actress with diva tendencies and mousy jazz singer.
I guess her strength lies in this versatility and her ability to adapt.
That, and the fact that she likes to think of herself as “inspirational, bold, determined, hard-working and spiritually-rooted.”
It is those same qualities that have seen her enjoy long-term relationships with brands like Kia Motors and Tiger of Sweden.
I’d like to think of myself as ‘inspirational, bold, determined, hard-working and spiritually-rooted’ … or at least this is what I strive for.
She has also created her own range of beauty and personal care products called ‘Body Language’ featuring body wash creams, lotions, hand sanitizers, hand & nail cream and a few other products for both men and women.
She says the name was inspired by her increased awareness of the impact of first impressions.
“People often introduce themselves long before they even speak, so a positive sense of self, which ultimately reflects in our body language is crucial. I want to use this brand to encourage people to become aware of how they see and think of themselves. It’s such a powerful tool when going through life. How you see yourself, I believe, affects where you will eventually find yourself in your life,” explains Gail.
See? I wasn’t kidding when I said she has been busy!
Though it appears she effortlessly makes the transition between classy, sexy, elegant and even edgy, Gail says this ability to transform does not come as easily as it looks.
“Getting ready for any on screen character takes a lot of work and support,” begins Gail. Adding that “everything from make-up to wardrobe and even the locations we shoot [as well as] my fellow cast members, all contribute to the character. So, no, it’s not as easy as it looks. And we all know that social media is not what it seems. A lot of work goes into taking the right ‘selfie’…[laughs]”
She also admits that the ability to transform is very important in her chosen career.
“For this reason, I am particular about my character choices. However, as mentioned, you have a team of people around you helping you get ready. I don’t want young girls who look up to me to ever think that I’ve ‘got it together’, because I don’t. Being and looking made up takes time and effort,” explains Mabalane.
I guess it is this careful way of choosing characters that keeps her from being type cast.
I ask myself ‘is it going to challenge me’.
“I think the most dangerous place to be in any career or industry is ‘comfortable’. I always want to push and challenge myself. The moment it feels like it fits right into my comfort zone, I switch off. We are only as good as our last achievement, so I don’t want to achieve the same thing twice…or at least I try,” says Gail.
I couldn’t help but ask if her adorable daughter, Zoe, understands her mother’s job yet.
“At the moment she is very obsessed with seeing herself in the mirror and in videos we record of her. It would be interesting to note her reaction when she does see me on screen one day. I would absolutely expose her to my work,” answers Gail.
Gail Mabalane is quite the rare gem and that is where the secret in her longevity lies. Her artistic beauty, mysterious allure, talent and choice in roles will keep her on our screens and in our minds for years to come.
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