It's a wonderful surprise for her fans.
Lorcia Cooper-Khumalo left Scandal! 10 year ago, leaving viewers stunned. Her character was both loved and hated and is one of the most memorable roles the 43-year-old actress has played in a career spanning nearly two decades.
Now the dancer, teacher, choreographer and actress is back as Erin to shake things up for Dintle (played by Mapaseka Koetle) on the popular e-tv soapie.
“Seeing old faces and playing Erin again has been strangely fulfilling. I didn't expect to ever return, to be honest, and being back feels good,” the mom tells Drum.
“Well, in TV time we don't do an exact take on time, so in TV time it's been about 12 years, in real-time around I've been away for 10 years,” she says.
“I've worked on some incredible shows, Lockdown, Still Breathing, Housekeepers, The Estate, which I'm still on now. Lots of teaching and choreographing, studying, and raising my beautiful family. I've been blessed to be able to study part-time and I carry huge gratitude.”
She started dancing at four years old when she entered ballroom and Latin American dance competitions. Having been in the industry for so long, Lorcia says she has evolved but she does not see her craft as a job and that keeps her motivated.
“I have evolved in leaps and bounds. Growth is amazing and necessary, however hard growing may be. The way I view life is different, the way I view myself is different, and this evolution is continual that I know for sure.
“I don't see my craft as a job or a gig that generates an income, it does, but it's more than that,” she adds.
“I'm very clear on my intention to tell good, wholesome stories that impact. I prefer work that is meaningful. When I tell a story, at that moment I'd like the viewer to transcend. Art is therapy to me regardless of the medium, I like to experience that in my work.”
Lorcia has been in the limelight for too long, so she is not fazed by fame.
“I had no intention of being 'famous,' I find the upkeep of it somewhat superficial and draining. I prefer my work to be the loudest voice in the room, to speak for itself, that's just how I am,” she says.
“I think there's a place for everything and everyone's different approach, a place for every kind of navigation through our industry. My preference is to focus on the upkeep of the quality and dignity of the work I do. Simultaneously I believe that my work belongs to the audience, my life however is mine,” she adds.
“Our industry however doesn't make space for all kinds of artists, it’s as though everyone has to be out there and public about everything and all-over social media. Some of us do well at this and others just don't prefer it and that should be okay. We're even at the point now where we get asked about our social media following at auditions. It's quite repulsive.”
She was introduced to her fans as Lorcia, the dancer and choreographer, and that still remains her love, she says.
But she is relishing being back on Scandal!.
In the story, Dintle decided that it was best to let go of her newborn child due to her financial situation at the time. Then Erin (Lorcia) and Tino decided to adopt the child and treat her as their own, on the understanding that Dintle would not interfere in the process at all, even in the future.
Now, Mo (the adopted baby) has decided to find her mother on her own. Live on television, she told Dintle that she is the child whom she gave away 14 years ago.
After that revelation, Mo goes awol, leading to Erin coming back onto the scene fuming and looking for her daughter.
“I still do teach and choreograph when my schedule allows," Lorcia shares.
"I love to dance and would not ever completely step away from it. Working out, this is a work in progress, I'm slowly getting myself back into an exercise rhythm, but oh my goodness, it's been quite hard this time around.”
Balancing motherhood, being a wife and her dreams is tough but fulfilling. “I prioritize what's important to me, what I value most, and I work from there. We can't give energy at the same intensity in every area of our lives,” she says.
“I am big on alternative modalities of healing, taking into account the body mind spirit connection. A lot of my time outside of work is focused on this.”
She recently shared that she had an operation for the removal of lipoma and received warm messages of healing from close friends and fans.
“The operation wasn't painful, however lipomas can grow quite large and mine was becoming noticeably visible on my arm and would continue to grow. This was my reason for removal. The wound after wasn't too bad either, but then again, coming from a dance background, I'm quite a tough cookie,” she says.
This year, Lorcia has big plans that she is still to announce.
“There are a couple of things lined up still for this year that I've set out to complete, they're still in the conception phase. So, I’d prefer to only talk about them after execution. On screens, I’ll be on Scandal! for a little while still and also on The Estate and whatever else the film gods have in store.”