It is an exciting time for Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo. He's secured a role on the much-loved e.tv drama Rhythm City.
Viewers of the show can expect his shady character, Kudzo to shake things up a bit when he makes his first appearance on Wednesday, 30 September.
For someone who only started acting two years ago this is an opportunity he doesn’t take for granted.
“Being on the Rhythm City set for a few days was amazing,” he tells DRUM.
“It is very intimidating I won’t lie because you meet people who have been in the industry for 20 years, 25 years, and here you are with you two years’ experience,” he continues.
The people he works with have been helpful and they understand he's new to TV, and that has made it all better. When the nerves get a bit much, Mohale has a mantra that works like magic.
“I always tell myself that this is what I want and because this is what I want, I need to make it work, whether I am scared, whether I feel like I am intimidated. I want to get into the industry and because I want to thrive in it, I need to make it work!”
When news of his new role broke, Mohale trended for days but it was not all congratulatory messages that dominated Twitter timelines. It was naysayers questioning why he got the role.
“To be honest with you, it did not shock me. I was expecting it. In everything I do, people want to bring up me being in a relationship with Somizi. They want to say that because I am in a relationship with a famous person, I get favours, I don’t audition therefore things just come to me. So, it has been happening for quite some time that people don’t believe that I should get any opportunities because of who I am,” Mohale says.
His first debut as an actor was on the MTV Shuga series in 2018 and this is when the acting bug officially bit him.
He played Odirile, which was more than just telling a story but trying to educate young people about sexual choices. “That is something close to my heart. If I can tell a story through acting and it can help someone out there, then I was like, I want to pursue acting,” Mohale explains.
Even then, there were haters questioning his involvement on the show.
“Would it be any different if he was not married to Somizi?“ is a question he asks.
“If I was not known, if I wasn’t married to Somizi, they would not have made a big hoo-hah. It would have been, ‘Oh there is some boy joining Rhythm City - it is opening up the industry, so it is fine’. As if I am not deserving of any opportunity I want to pursue on my own,” he says.
Mohale says while some comments were really hurtful, he is keeping it moving. “I guess you can’t control what people say, it didn’t really dim my light, my shine. I am still as happy, and I want to focus on those who are happy for me and keep it moving,” he adds.
Even though e.tv announced that this will be a celebrity guest appearance, Mohale is looking forward to cementing himself in this industry.
Viewers will be introduced to a "fake investor" and dubious character through Mohale.
Although Kudzo sounds like he is going to be a bit problematic with his shady business deals, Mohale says it is the confidence, sense of style and success in business that makes him love this character.
“And when things don’t go his way, he gets angry, extremely angry. That part was difficult because I am not that person, but obviously I want to portray that character to the best of my ability,” he tells DRUM.
He hopes to play a straight guy soon on a more permanent role.
“I want to play something that will kinda push me to show that I can really act, and it will challenge me to not be comfortable. A straight role would mean I would step completely out of who I am,” he says.
Contrary to popular belief Mohale says there is work, real work and commitment that goes into taking up a role like this one.
“You are given a script today that you need to know by tomorrow. There was a point when I was given a script that morning and we were shooting that morning. Things change fast on set, so it is about learning to adapt quickly and tuning yourself.
"Sometimes you sleep very late learning your lines, waking up very early and it is tiring. But it is all the work that needs to go in so that when you are on camera you really deliver your lines and character perfectly. For your fellow actors as well - if you don’t prepare, you make it hard for them to work with you.”