Rocklands actress stars in childhood classic

Megan Saayman, 23, from Rocklands

When she was younger, she never thought she would star in a childhood classic such as Matilda the Musical, the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the Roald Dahl book, and touring the country and internationally as part of the cast.

However, as a young girl Megan Saayman, 23, from Rocklands would watch movies endlessly, copying the accents and practice diligently.

When she needed to decide on which high school she would attend, Cedar High School of Arts in Rocklands was the natural choice.

She has a musical background as her mother Elizabeth Saayman played the drums and her father Denver Saayman played the guitar.

Her high school teacher, Peter Braaf, inspired her love for acting.

“He encouraged me, saw potential in me, and knew that something can come from my ability to act. It woke up something inside of me and I took it more seriously from then on,” said Megan.

“Acting gives me a sense of freedom, allowing you to be anything you want to be. You have the power on stage and people listen attentively.

“You are in control of people’s thoughts every time you’re on stage. Sometimes we do not know that we impact people’s lives, having them relate to the story,” she said.

Speaking of her experience at City Varsity she said: “Having to adapt to different backgrounds, meeting different people were new for me. It was uncomfortable at first but I got used to it.”

She said in her community many young people battle to overcome poverty and difficult socio-economic conditions.

“When I was chosen to be a part of this, I was ecstatic, over the moon really that I got a part in something so big. I prayed and worked very hard to get into this. I had support from my family and friends to go and do it.”

Completing her third year was almost impossible financially but she was one of the few students who were granted scholarships to finish her third year.

“My parents were not financially able to put me through my third year, in 2017. I was at peace that I would not be going back. When I received the scholarship I knew it was from God.”

Her younger sister, Chanelle Saayman, is inspired by her sister’s drive.

“Megan is strong-willed and really has a drive like no other. When she decided to study acting, nobody could’ve possibly changed her mind because she was passionate and determined to do exactly that, regardless of what people said about it.

“That really inspired me to go for what I want no matter what people’s opinions about your dream are because at the end of the day it is up to you to make a success of your life.”

Megan’s close friend, Shanise Jacobs, said Megan had been her inspiration from the get-go.

“She is a warm-hearted, kind and jolly person. She is a hardworking woman and puts her full potential in whatever she does, that’s why I admire her. She is one of my first friends who has graduated in a career path where everyone told her she won’t make it, but she made it possible and made a success of it.”

“If you think you’re dreams are silly, remember there is a guy who invented the pool noodle”, said Megan.

“This really got me thinking that we can dream and achieve anything we want. I am grateful for all my opportunities and experiences so far.

“I am proud to be a girl from Mitchell’s Plain – ’* meisie van die ’Plain kan dié doen en dit groot maak.”

Ms Saayman is very proud of her daughter for reaching a milestone in her career with Matilda.

“The school jazz band created opportunities for her, she was a drummer then. She visited America with them, at a music school to learn more about music. She knows what she want., I trust that her journey will take her places. We are very proud of her.”

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you come from but where you’re going,” said Megan.

“Don’t sit around and wait for opportunities to come to you.”