Thapelo Mokoena (pictured) is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most talented actors. Last year alone he starred in two major films, The Long Walk to Freedom and Nothing For Mahala. He currently appears in the Mzansi Magic sitcom Kota Life Crisis and is working on a movie and a reality show.
“I have had a very great and satisfying 12-year career which is something I would have never dreamt of before I started out,” said Mokoena.
Before he knew what he really wanted to do, the man considered following a different career, but thanks to those plans crumbling, the arts gained a gifted actor.
“I studied accounting for a bit and when that didn’t work out I decided to study film. That was the best decision I ever made because now, looking back, this industry has been good to me for as long as I can remember,” he said.
In his early years in the television industry Mokoena cracked the scene as the host for the South African version of the international show, Fear Factor.
Internationally, he is probably better known for his role as Cedric Fatani in the British series, Wild at Heart. Mokoena played the character from 2007 to 2012.
He then worked his way through several TV jobs and films. As of last year, he was undoubtedly one of the most sought-after faces on both the small and big screen.
He is also the guy featured in the Hunters’ Dry commercials that have been running on TV for several years.
With all these jobs coming his way you would think Mokoena would be concerned about being over-exposed, to a point where he might become undesirable to casting agencies.
“It used to be a concern when I was starting out, but now that I know the ins and outs of the business, I am not really con- cerned about over-exposure.
“What most people don’t know is that there is a lot to be done when producing a show or a film and I keep at it as much as possible because I am trying to learn as much as there is.
“I am into writing, directing, producing and all that. I want to master the craft to the best of my abilities so the one thing I believe in is actually putting in the time. That’s how I ended up in several productions at one particular time,” he said.
Going back to his roots, and first love, Mokoena is working on a reality show which he will present.
“I love presenting and never get to do it as much as I would like. So it is a blessing that I am busy with an upcoming show for e.tv which I can’t talk much about yet,” he explained.
The Long Walk to Freedom can still be seen on the film circuit, the brilliant Nothing For Mahala DVD has been released after the film did well and Kota Life Crisis airs every Tuesday at 7.30pm on Mzansi Magic.
Then there’s the occasional Hunters Dry advert in which Mokoena has made it cool to call our friends, “chinas”.