Sometimes art imitates life and it is not always pleasant. Playing a woman who lost her child in a tragic accident has been triggering for actress Palesa Madisakwane, who was involved in a horrific car crash where she almost lost her life in 2019.
Palesa plays Rethabile on SABC 3’s The Estate.
“It really took me back to that night of the accident. I had my daughter in the car and we could have lost our lives. It really triggered me,” she says.
That accident not only left her physically scarred, but it also left behind internal and well as emotional scars.
"When I look at myself in the mirror I obviously see the physical scars but I am also affected psychologically. At the moment I am working on getting my confidence back.
"The other challenge is that as a result of the accident, I sometimes get black outs and I'm a bit forgetful. That is not a good trait for an actress, if the script is five pages long and you start forgetting lines by page three, it may seem like you are unprepared or incompetent. So I am working hard on getting things done right because the truth is that the show must go on.”
The role was not supposed to last long, but Palesa says she has been giving it her all and the powers that be are noticing because she is now getting more calls.
“It was supposed to be a small role but it's now going on three months. It truly is the grace of God.”
She recalls being star struck when she first arrived on set when she met actor Aubrey Poo who plays politician, Castro Kamanga.
“Oh my gosh I was so star struck. I really tried to act cool and not seem to eager but inside I was very excited to meet him. Even when we were running lines in that first week I would say to myself ‘o ska bayza’ (don’t’ mess up). I wanted to ask him for a picture but then I decided it would be too forward of me to do that and I didn’t, until much later when I knew we were cool,” she laughs.
She says playing Rethabile is great for her because for once, she has not been typecast.
“I usually get similar roles where I play women who have money and wear heels, makeup, eyelashes or weaves. But Rethabile is none of that. She is a simple hard-working woman who lives in a shack. She is a nursing sister and really not a glamourous woman. I like that through her I am able to show my range and talent as an actress.”
Besides her work on The Estate, Palesa says she is also busy shooting Somizi’s reality show, Living The Dream With Somizi which is going on its fifth season. Somizi and Palesa have a daughter together.
“I am also producing a show on Moja Love and that is keeping me quite busy. I am grateful to God for his provision after such a quiet season and being down and out but now here I am, working.”