This article was previously published in the print addition of Move!
He's living proof that sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your dreams. When he gave up a nine-to-five job for the entertainment industry, he had no idea what the future would bring. But actor Bohang Moeko took the plunge anyway. And it’s been worth it.
EARLY DAYS: Bohang (31) wasn't passionate about his job, he shares. While growing up, he always knew he wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but he didn’t pursue it. "My father is in construction so I studied quantity surveying at the University of Free State. I ended up with an honours degree."
"I left Bloemfontein and settled in Durban where I worked as a quantity surveyor for two years. I was very unhappy with the job. I knew deep down that I wasn't passionate about the work."
"My heart was yearning for something else," he says. He started taking acting classes and signed with a Johannesburg based agent who suggested he move from Durban to Joburg.
"I quit my job and relocated but things didn't go as quickly as I thought they would." He eventually got his first gig playing Victor on Zabalaza in 2013.
VERSATILITY IS KEY: Since then, he has played a host of roles from a boxer in Ring of Lies, a rugby player in Isithunzi, an accountant in Housekeepers, a former soldier in The Queen, a gay marketing manager in Scandal!, a doctor on Isidingo and a doctor on a American series called The Hot Zone. "For me, this is very important. Changing roles opens an actor to more roles."
"I've declined playing another gay character when a production company contacted me. I declined not because there's anything wrong with being gay or playing gay characters, but the story was very similar to that of Tshepo in Scandal! Timing was important. Had I accepted, I would’ve been playing a similar character on two shows. Playing different types of characters, in my opinion, shows versatility and skills. It’s important for me to challenge myself with every role."
He says viewers are easily attached to TV actors. "People get to know us from those characters. The danger with this is that in their eyes that’s all you can ever be."
NOT JUST GOOD LOOKS: Bohang wants to prove that he is not just a pretty face. "I want people to look beyond my looks and body and see the actor. I think for years, actors like Brad Pitt had the same problem. But he’s a brilliant actor. Over time he has been taken seriously in the industry. In the past I’ve played the nice guy, but I would like to play a jerk and have my audience see a different side."
FUTURE PLAN: Currently he is on Scandal! playing Tshepo and he says it's challenging because of language differences. He speaks SeSotho and most of his scenes are alongside Chumani played by Ayanda Daweti and his mother, Boniswa, played by Lusanda Mbane. "They speak serious IsiXhosa. I need to prepare and pay attention."
"The two of them are great actors and are always pushing in each scene which is very motivating."
He also plays Lefa in Isidingo. "This is going to be interesting because there's Sechaba and Phindile’s wedding coming up. "Viewers can look forward to seeing more of me. I have a movie coming out this year called Seriously Single. And a lot more international work," he adds.
We are indeed looking forward to it.