Making it on Muvhango

Portia Mlilo
Clint Phuthego

After five years of trying, reaching the final round of auditions each time, Clint Phuthego’s perseverance finally paid off.

Last month, the 34-year-old local actor made his bow on the hit South African soapie, Muvhango.

Cast in the role of Dr Paballo Morake, step-son of the villainous Khumo Motsamai (played by our very own Miss Botswana 2015, Seneo Mabengano), Phuthego has big ideas for his character.

Voice reporter and massive Muvhango fan, PORTIA MLILO caught up with the man from Manaledi village to find out a bit more about his creative career and a journey that started with a Facebook Ad back in 2018.

How did you end up on TV?

From way back I have always wanted to be on TV.

Acting has always been my thing and I worked hard with passion and dedication towards my dream.

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I went through countless auditions, and eventually got my first appearance across the border.

When did you discover your talent for acting?

I got interested in seeing what people do on television and believed that I could actually tell a lot of stories through acting.

I joined the Drama group when I was doing Form 4 at Shoshong Senior and I would say our Coordinator, Farmer Bagai discovered my talent and nurtured it.

Other teachers always told me how good I was, and when years passed by I started trying my luck in auditions and after my first appearance in local productions, I realized I could do it!

Tell our readers about your role on Muvhango.

I play Dr Paballo Morake, Khumo’s step-son – Khumo is played by former Miss Botswana, Seneo Mabengano, who is also from Mmadinare.

Khumo called me to Johannesburg to stay with her, as she has her own issues and trusts me with helping her out with the same.

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Keep watching as drama unfolds.

Tell us about the auditions?

Auditions are never easy.

One has to prepare a lot by reading, rehearsing and getting enough rest.

You will never know what to expect when you get to the auditions.

My secret is having a monologue or two ready.

What are some of the biggest challenges about being an actor?

You actually have to spend sleepless nights reading and preparing for the story that you are telling the following morning and you need to be sure that you tell the story the way it’s written.

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Sadly some of the fans take things personal and they could love or hate you for the character that you are on a story.

It’s early days, but what do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy my role mostly because I get to do it in my home language.

My life also changed so fast.

It changed overnight and when I go to the shopping mall everyone recognizes me.

Some even stop and ask me questions.

How do you organize your typical day?

Well, basically my day is planned for me.

Everything is set up in a way that my character will be comfortable.

On days where I don’t have to shoot, I spend my time indoors resting and/or preparing for the next set.

What does it take for one to make it as an actor?

Self-belief, determination and passion.

One has to know that they will get to learn something new on a daily basis.

You’d actually have to follow directives from your production team to get things right on your story.

What advice can you give to those aspiring to be actors and actresses on TV?

Hey, Rome was not built in one day!

You know if you want to be an actor you need to know that you’re going to meet a lot of challenges on your way up.

The competition is high and you create opportunities for yourselves.

Like I said before, be determined, focus and believe in yourself.

You also have to be patient.

Imagine I reached the finals five times and did not get the job but I didn’t give up.

Sometimes it’s not that you are not a good actor but are just not fit for the roles in the story line at that particular time.

I grew up in an extended family as the first grandchild.

There was no luxury in my life and I vowed to myself to make my family name great and live a life that an ordinary boy who grew up in the village would never ordinarily think of.

You’ve certainly fulfilled that ambition! I’d like to get your thoughts on talent export – do Batswana have what it takes to penetrate international markets?

Botswana actually has a lot of talent and potential.

We are actually very talented and it’s only if we really push ourselves beyond limits in knowing that the sky is not the limit that we can actually do better and sell internationally.

What are your future plans for your career?

I trust and believe that as I am here, I am going to learn a lot that I would want to share with other creative back home.

I believe that I’ll have a project that I will be running as soon as I get back home, which will be in connection with what I’ve learnt during my time here.

My biggest plan is to go as far as Hollywood.

Away from being Khumo’s step-son, who is Clint Phuthego?

Well, Clint is an artist, a creative who lives his life by the word of God (laughing).

Yes, I am a Christian.

I trust and believe that God has his plans lined up and He will not fail as long as we trust and stay faithful to Him.

I also like playing with cars; I am a self-taught mechanic – hard to believe right!

I also have Supplies and Cleaning Services company and I am also into piggery farming.

I do Modelling events management and PR.

Who is your inspiration?

Sadly the one person who has shown me or has taught me to be a better man is in a different place now.

I have grown to admire the work of the Fergusons – they managed to grow big within the film industry in a foreign country no matter the hardships that come with being a foreigner.

Shona Ferguson, may his soul rest in peace, is and will always be a reminder to me that origin is not a boundary to greatness!

Wise words! And on that note, Thank God It’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

My plan on a Friday is to stay home, make a good meal and enjoy good music and movies.

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