Singer Cici on Kings of Jo'burg, her concert with Donald and motherhood

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Cici is preparing for her Love Tour with singer Donald on 26 August at the Lyric Theatre.
Cici is preparing for her Love Tour with singer Donald on 26 August at the Lyric Theatre.
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She is a multi-talented singer and now has added actress and businesswoman to her list of titles. She is currently shooting season two of Kings Of Jo’burg, where she plays the role of gold-digger Mimi, who is dating Tlotlo.

Busisiwe ‘Cici’ Thwala is happy to be back on set where she gets to be someone other than herself.

“Mimi is still very much selfish, and in a toxic relationship with Tlotlo who is much younger than her. For her, age doesn’t matter, it’s all about the status, the money, and power and that’s what she is about,” Cici says.

“She struggles to get the love, and affection she desires in a relationship. In season one, she finds herself in a situation of forcing attention, she steals money from him and ends up being kidnapped.”

In the coming second season, she tries to escape and that gets both her and Tlotlo in a sticky situation. He starts appreciating her for always being there.

In the previous season, Cici would become frustrated with some of Mimi’s decisions.

“I hated everything about her. I would always get shocked about how dumb this girl is. They say don’t judge your character, I did. She is completely different from who I am, and that was the challenge. But I have grown to like her now because she is starting to have a personality of her own outside of the relationship. In this season she is more willing to take charge, she leads and speaks out for herself.”

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Going back to set to shoot season two where the late Shona Ferguson was the lead actor and executive producer has not been the same for the cast of Kings Of Jo’burg. Although Cici did not get to interact with him much on set, things are not the same.

“On season one, he would come on set to observe and help here and there. He trusted Zolani Phakathi with directing. He was at arm’s length and didn’t interfere.” She met Shona for the first time during season one. 

“What an amazing human being, a gentle giant. He cared about his employees and how they feel. Having him on set was nerve-wracking but he would give compliments and I really appreciated that much about him. Things are not the same. Uncle Sho left a big gap, and we miss him popping by on set. We sometimes discuss what it would have been like if he was around and it’s not emotional, but he left a piece of him in everyone,” she adds.

This is one of Cici’s biggest acting roles. Before this, she had a cameo role on Generations: The Legacy playing a journalist. 

“I also played something similar to Mimi on Rhythm City. I was in a relationship with Fats. I played a gold digger who quickly moved on when she realised that he didn’t have money.”

With the few roles, Cici is now ready to build her portfolio as both a singer and an actress.

“I have been focusing more on my music and establishing my brand as a musician first before I can also add actress to my tittles. I have done that and now I am ready to pursue more acting roles and explore different characters.”

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Juggling acting and music is not easy, and she is taking her time. Along with shooting Kings Of Joburg, she is currently rehearsing for her big concert titled the Love Tour with singer Donald Moatshe.

“This is a major production,” she says.

“People can expect great dancing, dramatic lighting, and everything big. We want to bring showmanship to live performances.” Choosing Donald was a no-brainer.

“Putting Donald and I together is a believable project. When people look at us, they ask why we aren’t dating. But we are just friends. We figured we could borrow from the concept of Babyface and Tony Braxton's collaboration and create something fresh. It’s very different and we enjoy working together."

At the concert, they will perform songs they have done together, both old and unreleased.

“We wanted to release an EP but we can’t drop it now, and this is something I’ve always dreamed of doing.” 

Donald and Cici met in 2016.

“That was when I had released the Runaway song and just broke into the industry and Donald wanted to work with me. I wasn’t sure at the time because I had asked him to do a song before I was popular and he turned me down,” she laughs.

“In 2018 we did a song, Landela and that was when the idea of us doing more work together was born.

“Not a lot of people sing about love. It’s lost popularity, we wanted to reignite the feeling of popularity. We wanted to highlight the ups and downs and not just sing about happiness. The concert is a lot of work, pre-production which has taken almost three months. After two years of a pandemic, we want to give people a reason to fall in love with live shows again.”

In between that she is also running Amahle a floral business in Silverton, Pretoria, which she opened when the Covid-19 pandemic started.

“I have always wanted to start a business but was never sure what type. I wanted to look for something that’s not saturated. During this time, I was idling and realised we had a lot of people passing away, and funeral parlors needed flowers. I thought I was gonna go crazy during Covid-19. I wanted something to keep me busy and bring me a bit of money. I’m a mom now and had to think for myself and my son and that’s how the business came about,” she says.

Cici loves the challenge of being a singer, businesswoman, and mom and it keeps her on her toes.

“It’s not easy but it’s rewarding,” she says.

“Having to think about serious bills like creche fees and things. But watching my son grow is a blessing. At times it's difficult because of work I miss out on special moments, but I love it.”

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