In the global village that is the world today, identity, it would seem, is no longer a subject that is being explored as we now accept that we, as the human race, have become multicultural. We seemingly accept the cultural diversity not only in our communities but also within our own family geography. Dancing to the Beat of the Drum is the story of a celebrated South African actress searching for an identity. Her search takes place in an environment where the question of identity has been manipulated in such a way that cultural diversity is not embraced but where cultural and economic identity determines a person's worth. This manifests itself in a roller-coaster journey of mental and emotional toxicity as we are carried along the painful experience of one person's quest to be heard. Here no amount of fame or money is able to bring solace and acceptance to Pamela Nomvete. Appearing to lead a life of luxury and success, behind closed doors she is faced with infidelity in the guise of a polygamous husband, addiction, and spiritual confusion. Her life spirals into the cliché of a riches-to-rags horror story. The struggle of a country, South Africa to find itself in an incomprehensible vat of denial, reflects in the struggle of an individual's fight to find her way out of her own pit of self-denial. It would seem the only victory lies in finding the beat of the drum and dancing to it.
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Pamela Nomvete has been an actress for twenty-six years, having graduated from the Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1985. I spent ten years on the British stage and in 1994 went to South Africa, where I embarked on a very successful television career. I became a South African icon and ended up as a patron of a Khoisan pageant held in Botswana. She co-wrote and co-produced a thirteen-part comedy series for the South African Broadcasting Cooperation. She appeared in the H.B.O. film Sometimes in April as the character Martine and won a best actress award at the Fespaco film festival in 1995 for the role I played in the film Zulu Love Letter. Pamela went through a very traumatic personal crisis as her success grew and ended up losing everything she had worked for. She spent two weeks living in her car in Johannesburg, South Africa. She returned to London in 2007 and continued a successful acting career, having performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Court. She is a regular character in a popular television series for ITV in the United Kingdom. During the time she was living in her car, she learned about detachment from all the external things we often use to define us. She learned that, as long as she was alive, she could survive and handle any situation anywhere and in whatever circumstance. She learned about the true nature of the human spirit, which she found among the very ordinary people of South Africa really the people who made up her fan base. She recognised that she had a mission, and that was to encourage people who believed they had no worth to see their value and use it to encourage others like them. Pamela learned that the voice of the little person' will be heard the loudest and will make the biggest contribution to positive transformation in any community. I now live in the United Kingdom. I have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man.
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