Actress Itumeleng Bokaba on growing up on Rhythm City as Mampho

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Rhythm City actress, Itumeleng Bokaba.
Rhythm City actress, Itumeleng Bokaba.

Mampho started out as the schoolgirl who was loud and forward and was in a relationship with a 'sugar daddy' on drama, Rhythm City.

Eight years later, she is career driven, has had a live-in boyfriend and of course tons of relationship drama that she'd rather forget.

Itumeleng Bokaba (27) tells DRUM how the journey of playing the character of Mampho has been. 

"She is just that character that will always have relationship issues," she says.

Itumeleng has been playing Mampho since she was a teenager.

“I was so nervous on my first day on set,” she says. At 19, Itumeleng had left the comfort of being a presenter on YoTV and went into new territory.

“I literally grew with Mampho. I became an adult on the show and so did she,” Itumeleng says.

Read more| Zamani Mbatha on Rhythm City: I get to share space with people I've always looked up to

She has had fun portraying different storylines especially as people seem to relate to them all. But nothing really prepares her for some weird reactions from viewers of the show.

“It is weird but not weird that people think it is real life. We are acting! One time, a lady came up to me, nearly slapped me across my face. And I am looking at her thinking, ‘Ma we are acting’,” she laughs.

News of Rhythm City ending in 2021 broke recently. Itumeleng admits that it came as a shock.

“I knew that it was not going to last forever; it was going to come to an end. Either I was going to leave the show, or it was going to end, I was going to part ways.”

“I knew that it was not going to last forever; it was going to come to an end. Either I was going to leave the show, or it was going to end, I was going to part ways. I think it came as a shock because I was not prepared right now,” she says.

She's still proud to be part of this production and is looking forward to trying new things in the future.

“I have been playing Mampho for a long time now and people are going to end up thinking that I am Mampho,” she jokes.

 Read more| Rhythm City's Mduduzi Mabaso shares how he turned into a fashionista: "My wife is teaching me"

“I am excited to see what I can do to challenge myself and to do something different,” Itumeleng says.

 “Right now, things could go either way,” she says. She has a passion for music that looks forward to fully pursuing.

“I don’t think I will leave the industry. The arts are my love, and I am going to push that,” she adds.


Itumeleng is a mother to a one-year-old daughter, Rorisang. And that, she says, is her inspiration to keep on going regardless of what life throws at her.

“It is a beautiful journey, but it is a lot of work. I have had to put myself together, be more organised than I was before. Now I am responsible not only for my life but the life of someone else,” she says. “It is such a motivator. It has helped me conquer so many inner insecurities. I have thrown a way a lot of fear, I can’t afford to be afraid anymore."

She's learnt a few things since becoming a mother. 

“Nothing is really that deep. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid to try out certain things when I was younger,” she adds.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24