‘Zatima’ star Nzinga Imani recalls the emotional moment she got the call to join the popular BET show

Nzinga Imani [in-ZING-AH e-MAHN-KNEE] had been busy working one gig when she got a call from her agent about a job opportunity that changed her life. 

She told ABC Audio on the carpet of the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards that while on the set of her first cover shoot for a magazine, she “ran to the phone” to receive news she’d long been waiting for. 

“My agent was calling me and I was like, ‘My agent don’t ever call me, let me see what’s going on,"” she recalled. 

When Imani picked up the phone, she learned she had earned the role of Angela on the hit BET+ series Zatima.

“When they told me, I kind of like cried through the rest of the shoot,” she said, adding that she felt “incredible” in the special moment. 

The call and new gig were a long time coming for the rising star, who said she “worked so long and so hard” at acting but felt she wasn’t getting anywhere.

“But then when it happens, it happens like that and everything changes,” she said. “So you just have to prepare, prepare and be prepared.”

Imani, an Atlanta peach born in New York to Guyanese parents, had been preparing for her big break for 10 years. She says she “went from being on nothing to being on three shows at once.”

In addition to Zatima, she’s appeared on the show’s original series, Sistas, and another popular Tyler Perry show, All the Queen’s Men.

Of her newfound success, Imani said the ride’s been an incredible one. 

“You just never know how things can change in an instant. Between last year and this year, my whole life has changed.”

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