From Botswana to SA with pride
When she landed a role in the Thokolosi drama a few years ago, little did Koketso Mophuting know that she had actually made a breakthrough in the entertainment industry.
Fast forward to 2016, the Kanye born and bred actress is now a ‘face’ to reckon with in South Africa’s Mzanzi Magic channel through her role as Kaone in Isibaya soapie.
The Voice Journalist Onneile Setlalekgosi had a chat with the inspiring and the determined TV star to find out more about her.
Q. You are currently on set in Mzansi Magic Isibaya soapie, how does the role you play influence your real life?
A. I play the young starry eyed housemaid. She has dreams but has since discovered that life can get really complicated. I have learnt a lot from my character.
Q. Interesting role, what have you learnt from it so far?
A. Quite a lot, but above all she has taught me to never let undeserving people occupy my space.
Q. Please give us your perspective of the arts in Botswana based on where you are now?
A. This is a broad question and there is a lot to consider. I honestly believe there is a lot of raw talent in Botswana that needs to be developed.
I also believe that it is not every country that needs a fully fledged arts industry.
We have our strengths as a nation. Perhaps our focus should be to develop talent and export it.
Q. What actually gave you courage to pursue acting, any role models?
A. Well, you only have one life to live. I had to at least try.
I guess that has something to do with my character.
I am not afraid to dream and I am certainly not afraid to take risks.
There are quite a few people that I look up to ; Terry Pheto, Thandie Newton, Gugulethu Mbatha-Raw.
I could go on and on as there are many African women who have set the bar really high.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your schooling days, any interesting moments?
A. I studied in Malaysia, well at least I had a short stint there.
But the possibility of never getting to do what I love weighed me down so much that I was not coping there.
So I made the decision to move to South Africa to study film.
Q. Koketso, you are such an amazing star, have you ever won any award?
A. No awards to date. Slow and easy does it. One day is one day.
Q. Do you see yourself leaving a legacy in the entertainment or film industry?
A. Well, that word ‘legacy’ comes with a lot of pressure.
I simply want to do what I love and enjoy life.
There is more to me than just being a recognizable face.
I have plenty of interests. Who knows what I’ll be doing in the next five years!
Q. What has been the highlight of your acting career?
A. It’s definitely being on Isibaya. It has been life changing.
Q. Tell us a little about your journey to the South African film industry, was it smooth or tough, how did you cope with the transition?
A. It definitely wasn’t easy but I knew going in that it wouldn’t be.
After ‘Single Mothers’ I didn’t get any serious work for close to two years.
How is that for tough? But I am thankful that I got a breakthrough after a bit of a struggle.
It has humbled me and I think I am handling the sudden attention from the public very well.
Q. South Africa has a competitive entertainment industry, what advise can you give to aspiring actors here in Botswana?
A. I would say no two actors have a similar story to tell as to how they cracked it.
Follow your heart but don’t leave your mind behind.
Study, because getting a degree in the arts allows you to have your fingers in a few pies.
Dig deep within yourself.
Why do you want to do this? Is it because you want fame? Is it for money?
Is it both? There are no rights or wrong motives for pursuing the arts.
All are valid because we all have different needs. Lastly , give it your all.
Q. When did you discover your acting talent and when did you start acting professionally?
A. I started acting professionally in 2013 on a miniseries for Mzansi Magic.
I can’t say I remember the exact moment I realized that I want to be a performer.
But I will say my curiosity got sparked in secondary school ( drama was compulsory for the first two years).
Q. I understand that your favorite Authors are Marianne Williamson and TD Jakes, why so?
A. It’s the topics that they touch on.
Such books make you look closely at yourself and your relationship with a higher power.
They are honest and enlightening.
Q. In 2013, you played the role of Gugu in Mzansi Magic drama miniseries, Single Mothers.
What message do you have for single mothers out there?
A. Single mothers, you are worthy of all the love in the world, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Q. You appeared on many adverts, such as MTN Nigeria, KFC South Africa and ABSA. How was the experience and what do you like most about the particular adverts?
A. It was a good experience as I did them when I was a student.
What I enjoyed about doing them was that they were shot over one or two days.
I was still at school and didn’t have time for much.
Q. What car do you drive?
A. I don’t endorse brands, so unfortunately I cannot tell you what car I drive.
Q. What will you be up to this weekend?
A. I’ll be in my cozy apartment in Johannesburg cooking for friends.