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'Kwaito's' painful past didn't break him

By Faeza
30 June 2016

SKEEM SAAM’S actor Clement Maosa, who portrays the character of Kwaito in the popular soapie, shares how losing his parents who died when he was a teenager, only three months apart, moulded him to be the man he is today.

The Limpopo-born actor tells Move! that he was forced to grow up fast after the death of his parents in 2007. He had to take on the responsibility of being a father and a provider to his younger brother and sisters.

TRAGEDY STRIKES

Clement tells Move! that like any other young boy in rural Limpopo, he grew up looking after his father’s sheep. But because he was so intelligent, his parents wanted a bright future for him. They persuaded him to study law or medicine even though he dreamt of being on TV. After passing matric, Clement enrolled for a law degree at the University of Limpopo to honour his parents’ wishes. He also took drama lessons but tragedy struck when he was just in his first year in varsity. Both his parents got very sick and passed away. “My parents’ passing changed my life. My parents were very strict and they expected the best from me as their elder son. And when they passed away, I had to grow up fast. I had to make a plan to put food on the table for my brother and sisters who were in primary school at the time. I got a bursary, which covered my fees. I also worked part-time to

provide for our day-to-day needs,” says the actor. Clement says even though his grandmother was there to help him raise his siblings, he had to make a lot of sacrifices. He adds that he had no social life. “I had no social life. Whenever I was free, I had to go on the internet and look for acting opportunities. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities in Polokwane, so I knew that moving to Joburg would change my life for the better. Fortunately, things worked out for me,” says Clement.

MOVING TO A BIG CITY

The 27-year-old actor says when he received a call informing him that he got the role to play Kwaito, he could not believe his luck. He grasped the opportunity with both hands. From the beginning, he focused on being a great actor and his hard work has

paid off. “My first encounter in Joburg was different from everybody else’s. I discovered that people in Joburg are not realistic and they are disrespectful. After a few months

of being on the soapie, people expected me to drive a fancy car and live in a mansion. I had to make it clear that I’m not here to impress or compete with anyone. I take my craft seriously but I don’t succumb to pressure because I’m not in this for fame,” he explains.

He adds that being the lead actor of one of the most-watched soapies in Mzansi is amazing. He won an award for Best Male Actor at the Film, Arts, Music and Entertainment

Awards in Limpopo in 2015. He has also appeared in the movie, Step up

To a New Start. Clement says his rural upbringing has grounded him so much that he

is offended when he greets people and they don’t respond.