Molemo Tlali on life after The Queen: Knowing where I come from motivates me when I feel discouraged

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Molemo Tlali opens up about getting his big break on The Queen and confirms he's leaving the show.
Molemo Tlali opens up about getting his big break on The Queen and confirms he's leaving the show.

He's a young waiter who falls in love with a woman from the wrong family.

The family of Khumo Sebata on The Queen is locked in a fierce rivalry with the family of the love of his life.

Many viewers looked forward to watching this drama and love story unfold, however Khumo has been written off The Queen. But for Molemo Tlali, the actor who portrayed him, it's been an interesting journey.

The 23-year-old found his big break in the entertainment industry in one of the biggest shows on SA television, so playing Khumo on The Queen has given him a huge boost of confidence, he tells Drum.

The actor is a third year marketing student at the Central University of Technology and before landing a role on the Ferguson Films production, he had no acting experience and often made a living through modelling.

“Growing up I always had access to watching the best movies and I had this dream of wanting to be on one of them. I had love for acting and I didn’t have the platform to do it. After high school I chose to study marketing and I did a bit of modelling, but I wanted more," Molemo says.

"So I stopped modelling and joined a agency that got me castings but I was [not] getting any of them. She (the casting agent) finally sent the role for Khumo and I got the role. My first gig has been my breakthrough.”

He did not study drama or anything art-related so he is currently attending acting classes provided by his agency.

Being on The Queen, Molemo says, was a wonderful experience for him and he enjoyed working with some of the biggest names in the industry.

“Khumo is humble, and I enjoyed playing him. Working alongside Jessica Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphumo has been an amazing journey and I know that it doesn’t get any better than that.”

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He confirms that he is leaving the show and also says that it didn’t come as a surprise to him because it is something that he was made aware at the time he joined the cast.

“I was aware that playing a character that is in a relationship with a girl for the rival family is going to [lead] to tragedy and I knew that this would happen.”

His goal is to make a name for himself in the industry and he's focusing on one thing – knowing why he started.

“Knowing where I come from motivates when I feel discouraged. I often think about what it took for me to be here. Some people might think it might have been easy for me to get here, but there were so many days I would be told about a casting in Joburg while I was back home in Bloemfontein, and I would have to make plans of getting there bearing in mind that I might get it and I might not. Even now I don’t give up because there’s much more to do.”

When he told his parents that he wanted to be an actor they were sceptical at first but after seeing his success and the work he put in paying off has been encouraging to them.

“My parents don’t really trust Joburg and they were concerned I would meet agents that would take advantage of me. They are now super proud that they get to watch me every day on TV.”

Outside of being a model and actor Molemo has a passion for gaming and hopes that one day he will become a professional gamer.

He says that young people who want to enter the film and TV industry have to be patient and believe in themselves.

“Be ready for disappointments. And not everything is for you – but when it's for you, it will happen. Always believe in yourself.”

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