Chit Chat: Thato Molamu

2011-08-19 15:19

Generations actor Thato Molamu (26) tells LESLEY MOFOKENG he’s not the scheming Nicholas Nomvete viewers love to hate

How has your life changed since you played Nicholas?
It’s been positive and negative. A lot of people take this character seriously and they think I’m Nicholas.

Some people won’t even say hello to me out of disgust and some come up to me and tell me how much they hate the character.

Parents have not hesitated to tell me that Nicholas is annoying.

I was almost assaulted on a recent trip to Durban when a woman approached me and threatened to hit me; I had to escape and run across the road.

What’s your opinion of Nicholas?
He is a troubled individual. We know spoilt brats and how they don’t think of the consequences of their actions, especially at that age.

Upbringing is important, and it shows in how he is disrespectful. He believes in short-cuts, but all will be revealed soon as to why his behaviour has been like that.

His methods are unorthodox.

What do you consider your greatest talent?
I grasp my characters quickly.

I get to understand what they are about faster because of the love I have for what I do. For the role of Olayx in Cards, I had to rehearse at 9am and be on stage at 8pm on the same day.

I also had to learn my lines faster when I replaced Siyabonga Twala in The Suitcase.

What doesn’t the public know about you?
I am very shy. It’s one of those things I’ve had to live with.

I normally allow someone to start a conversation, otherwise I sit quietly.

Has coming from Mafikeng been a great help or a hindrance to you getting a big break?
It has turned out to be the biggest thing for me.

If I had come from another town, I wouldn’t have been able to work with greats like (playwright) Paul Grootboom who introduced us to Shakespeare. And he was hard on us.

At North West Arts Council, I got to meet big names such as ­Vusi Kunene and Aubrey Sekhabi who all inspired us to be the best.

My (arts council) class of 1996 comprised actors like Presley Chweneyagae. Zenzo Ngqobe joined in 2000. We all got to travel and perform at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 2002 when I was still in matric at Mafikeng High School.

What’s the one thing you consider a threat to your career?
It’s a stage I haven’t reached and hope never to reach, and that is to get a big head.

This industry is pretentious and one can lose your head in it.

I know that if I were to quit I would go back to theatre.

The price of fame is too much and that is not a joke.

Everything you do goes under the microscope, I know somebody (journalists) has to do their job but let’s not pull each other down.

Three things you can’t live without?
First, my family. They have been the core support other than my true friends.

It’s hard to support a son who wants to be an actor and goes without work for a while. But we’re a praying family and we’ve seen success happen.

Second, my iPhone. I have become addicted to Twitter and Facebook and use them for personal marketing.

Finally, nice clothes. I love trendy clothes and looking good.

TV or theatre?
Theatre is my comfort zone. It allows me to play my character best and is less time-constrained.

With theatre, you get to the core of your character and there are great opportunities to travel the world.

A girl in a weave or dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks. I may sound old school but there’s something that does it for me with a woman who is natural and confident in her own skin.

I don’t have a problem with make-up and weaves, as long as it’s not your end all and be all.

Are you in a relationship?
Yes. She has a fun personality and is not materialistic.

A self-made woman with a drive to achieve in this malicious corporate world and climb the ladder despite hard conditions.

What are you listening to at the moment?
I love house music and I can’t get enough of Look of Love by Miza. Khuli Chana’s Konka and Sthandwa Sam also rock me.

I also listen to a lot of old school – Marvin Gaye, Barry White, The Manhattans and The O’Jays, Fela Kuti and Sade.

Starring on the ultimate TV show in the land, what else could there be for Thato?
I have done Intersexions, and I shot Taka Taka, a movie, with Kagiso Lediga and Trevor Noah last year.

I think that’s what I want to do – more movies – in the next five years. I don’t want to be stuck.

I’m working closely with a North West charity programme called Sangoco where I am the brand ambassador.

We do cultural exchanges with overseas countries and conduct workshops for aspirant artists. I am pro-education:
if we don’t educate, we’ll have problems like crime and HIV.

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