Actress Nadia Beukes has played a lengthy list of roles – from a sport psychologist, sophisticated lawyer, a match-making middleman and vlogger, to a cynical-about-love single mom. And the role she loves and enjoys the most? Her role as a mother.
Nadia Beukes is no newbie to the entertainment industry. She took it by storm as a finalist in Zing, a reality duet singing show, almost two decades ago. Since then, she broke so many barriers … as a presenter, singer, actress and voice-over artist, and today, she is a massively sought-after entertainer.
Aside from this, she is also mom to two-year-old Davey and 10-month-old Joshua. A role and task she has embraced with the same contagious enthusiasm and positivity she approaches everything else.
Juggling a career and two busy boys. She makes it look easy. Is it? Or is Nadia just a master juggler? Well, as cool, calm and collected she appears, she admits she does drop the balls sometimes. But tries to not drop the ones that can break.
‘Rolene Strauss did a talk on juggling and mentioned that we all have many balls that we need to keep up. It is up to you to decide which of those balls are rubber balls that can bounce back and which are glass balls that will break if they fall. My boys and husband, David, are the glass balls – the ones I choose to prioritise.
‘Most days I feel like I’m not balancing anything at all! However, I’ve realised that their childhood will go by in a blink of an eye, so spending time with them is a privilege, something I don’t take for granted. If that means that I spend less time on TV and more time with my kids, then it is fine. It doesn’t make me less ambitious or driven.’
Her hopes and dreams for her boys? ‘I hope they start a boy band and become international superstars! Just kidding … although it would be pretty awesome to see their faces on billboards and their names in big lights. My only hope is that they have a happy and fulfilled life. To have the courage to pursue their dreams passionately and, ultimately, to be kind towards themselves and others.’
So who is the fun parent? According to Nadia, most definitely David. ‘I do play with them, take them on adventures and generally entertain them, even if it is by singing songs while putting away their toys after playtime. But, I’m the planner, organiser and cleaner, who loves structure, routine and ensures everything is sorted. David on the other hand is social, spontaneous, and loads of fun to be around with. He makes sure our life together is a glorious adventure, while I make sure the suitcases are packed with everything we might need on our way.’
In between driving the kids to nursery school, pyjama drills and settling the boys down at night, she heads over to her small home studio to record voice-overs for TV and radio platforms, with clients including kykNET, Time Square, DStv, Fitgen, Plantland and a couple of e-learning platforms.
Not only can she do hard-sell voices, but sings a jingle or two, and also does spot-on impressions and quirky voices. ‘Voice-overs are such fun. I get to be super creative within 30 seconds and work with a team that makes it sound amazing by the time it airs. I always get such a thrill when I hear my voice on the radio and TV. My ultimate goal would be the voice of an animated character in a movie or series. Or to book a massive corporate campaign that runs forever and pays all my bills. Hey, a girl can dream!’
A few years ago she also brought out a book, Paaie van Hoop (available from loot.co.za), a collaborative effort between Nadia and author Jana van der Merwe, about her thoughts on life and lessons she has learned over the years in and out of the spotlight. She is currently helping her father, opera singer and actor Rouel Beukes, with another book, this one on Afrikaans poetry.
‘After many years touring the world as a performer in Phantom of the Opera, my father is back. During his tour last year he was ‘stuck’ in South Korea for months and was inspired to start writing poetry for his grandchildren. These poems are just so beautiful that we are planning on publishing them. We really hope that these poems will result in lots of smiles on little faces.’
Nadia shared one of the poems, written by her father, from the new book they are working on together:
Skoenlapper Skoenlapper jou
vlerkies is so mooi.
Jy vlieg van blom tot blom en
almal staan verstom.
Gister nog ’n ruspe toegespin in ’n kokon.
En nou ’n daggie later sweef jy oor die water.
Met kleure rooi en bont
vlieg jy die hele wêreld rond.
– Rouel Beukes
Four things Nadia wishes someone told her about being a mom:
1. It’s okay to not be okay all of the time. Sleep deprivation is a real thing but it will get better.
2. Not every superhero wears a cape. Being a mom is a superpower – embrace it.
3. Don’t stress yourself to get things done perfectly – your kids will love you anyway, just because you love them.
4. The days are long, but the years are short – be in the moment, give yourself grace and enjoy the (sometimes bumpy!) ride.
Nadia’s delicious teatime cake recipe that has been passed down from her gran to her mother and now to her.
You’ll need: 375ml cake flour; 250ml sugar; 45ml soft butter; 1 egg; 20ml milk; a pinch of salt; 10ml baking powder; Bovril; butter; cheese.
Method: Beat the butter and sugar until it turns creamy, light and fluffy.
Add the egg and milk to the mixture and whisk until the smooth.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and fold into the egg/butter mixture.
Spoon mixture into a greased, ovenproof tart dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes, or until done. Remove cake from oven.
Topping: First spread Bovril and then butter over the hot cake. Sprinkle some cheese, then it’s ready to serve!
• She has not outgrown her addiction to biscuits and cookies.
• Her hidden talent is gift wrapping.
• When she eats a Zoo biscuit, she starts with the biscuit part first. Then the white icing, leaving the sweet colourful bit for last. Also, you don’t only eat one. You eat at least three because each compartment of the packing holds three and it wouldn’t make sense to leave one or two behind.
• Her secret indulgence is reality TV shows, giant speckled eggs, loungewear, trips to the hair or beauty salon in the kitchen).
• She and her mother Eureke shares a few similarities. They both take a long time to make decisions, drink tea when they are stressed or when they want to celebrate something and both suffer from JOLO (the joy of missing out).
* Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. Photographer: SHAVAUNE PHOTOGRAPHY.