Karabo leaves ‘Generations’ on a high note

2010-11-03 00:00

CHANGE is scary but Generations legend Connie Ferguson believes that leaving the popular soapie will allow her to focus on her family and other projects close to her heart.

It’s been 16 years since the actress, who played Karabo Moroka, first appeared on Generations — and filming her final scenes and saying goodbye to her soapie family wasn’t easy. “There was a lot of tear shedding ... I hate goodbyes,” Ferguson said.

The actress filmed the emotional scenes in August, and when asked how it felt not to be driving to the set every day, she said: “It is a bit surreal, because I’m so used to getting a schedule from Generations, and then heading to the studio, but to be able to be in control of my own time is also nice. I have been trying to do other things outside of Generations but it hasn’t been easy to plan.”

And she stressed that while she might no longer be playing Karabo, she hasn’t given up acting for good. “I will always act, but the most important thing for me now is to do other things that are important to me,” Ferguson, who was born in Kimberley in 1970, said. Those things include focusing on her business interests.

“I have two fragrances — True Self and True Sensations — and I want to be able to market them properly and may even create and brand more fragrances. I’ve also had loads of requests to run workshops for women.

“I want to help women to take care of themselves. If you take care of your skin and someone says your skin looks beautiful, your confidence is boosted. All of these things require time and that was the one thing I didn’t have when I was working on Generations.”

Ferguson is pleased that her character went out on a high. Viewers saw Karabo married to her true love, Tau Mogale (played by Rapulana Seiphemo), who reappeared in her life years after she believed he had died. It turns out Tau faked his death to protect Karabo from being killed, and now the pair are off to London and a brand new life together.

Ferguson admitted that she had been a bit worried about her exit storyline at first: “When I first found out how I was leaving I thought, ‘Is that going to work? Will people buy it?’

“Such a lot happens in Karabo’s life in such a short space of time — she breaks up with Paul Mashaba (Siyabonga Twala), her life begins to spiral out of control, then Tau reappears and they get married. I just couldn’t see how it could work, but it did.”

Looking back over the past 16 years, Ferguson said that while Karabo hadn’t always been happy, she had been an interesting character to play. She especially liked the challenge of portraying Karabo doing drugs. “I don’t drink and I’ve never taken drugs, and suddenly I had to be someone doing those things. So, it was kind of fun playing a drunk and snorting glucose powder and dancing on tables,” Ferguson said.

She also liked the challenge of playing someone deprived of her sight when Karabo was blinded by Glen Majozi’s ex-wife, Ingrid, who poisoned her eye drops; and a woman trapped in a relationship with a possessive man, when her character was married to Mandla Sithole. But the storylines she found most poignant were those involving Karabo’s pregnancies. “The second time Karabo was expecting a baby was even more real for me than the first time, because of my own experience [of losing a child],” Ferguson said. “I had an overwhelming response from women, especially black women, because in our culture it’s not something you can really talk about. It’s important to be able to tell people that it’s okay to acknowledge their loss and to go through the grieving process. You can’t always explain why things go wrong, sometimes it’s just God’s way.”

Asked how her husband, Shona Ferguson (who plays Alex in e.tv’s Scandal), and daughters were feeling about having her around a bit more, she said they are “elated”, adding: “The little one [Alicia] struggled with it a bit. She loves Generations and would often go to work with me. She is worried about what will happen to Queen if Karabo isn’t there. My older daughter, Lesedi, is very happy for me because she’s seen how frustrating it’s been for me sometimes.”

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