Kgomotso Christopher on Saftas: Showcasing local content helps grow SA audiences

Cape Town - Seasoned actress Kgomotso Christopher spoke to Channel24 about her 2018 Safta nomination and the contribution the annual award ceremony has made to the local entertainment industry. 

Kgomotso has been nominated in the Best Actress in a TV Soapie or Telenovela category. 

For the actress finding out about her Safta nomination was a "bitter-sweet" moment. She explains: "I found out the day we buried our beloved Scandal! colleague, Bra Sandy. As we drove to the cemetery after the service, I got a chance to turn on my phone and in flooded all the messages of congratulations on social media.

"It had been a very somber week for the production. The moment I found out was bitter sweet and surreal."

Speaking about the contribution the Saftas has made to the local entertainment industry Kgomotso says: "Showcasing local content helps to generate and grow South African audiences. The body of work and the practitioners that get to be highlighted also act as a source of inspiration for the next generation of arts practitioners"

She also mentions the actors she looks up to in the industry, saying: "I once had a cameo appearance on Madam & Eve starring Motshabi Tyelele. I met her when I was 20 on that show and to this day, I still get career and life advice from her. She has helped me navigate so many aspects of my career."

The 38-year-old actress adds that a vehicle of assessment is an important step in the development of the industry and a way of evaluating where it is making breakthroughs in storytelling and where it needs to improve. 

Kgomotso - who joined the cast of Scandal! in 2016 - attributes the success of the long-running soapie to its "relatability" and "authentic reflection of South African life."

"The show allows for a very diverse demographic footprint. There are stories for youngsters in school, young and upcoming entrepreneurs, the very traditional family, the township, the urbanised African family and the wealthy family. There is the world of the newsroom, the world of the local tavern, the school, the boardroom, the cool lounge and the hotel rooms."   

The South African beauty is well-known for her previous role as Katlego Sibeko in Isidingo, a character she portrayed for five years, and says the transition from Katlego to Yvonne was easy as the two characters are so different. 

"The main difference - which was challenging - was the language placement of the character. Katlego was predominantly English-speaking with Zulu and a bit of seSotho."

"Yvonne was set up to become a hustling Mosotho woman. So it was quite fascinating to receive scripts with full pages of seSotho translations. I welcomed this change because it allowed viewers to get different nuances of my craft as an actor," she adds. 

When asked what she loves most about her character on Scandal!, she says: "I love that she accepts herself for what she is. She loves the high life but is also very clear that she doesn't want to work, in order to have that high life. I think most of us would love to have the easy life and not have to sweat to get it. I also love the funny side of her. She's a motor-mouth and usually what comes out of her mouth is hilarious."

Catch the Saftas ceremony on Saturday, 24 March live from Sun City on SABC2 (DStv 192) at 20:00.

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