A titanic face-off is on the cards as heavyweight bad ass Kenneth Mashaba (Seputla Sebogodi) returns to SABC1’s Generations to settle scores with nemesis Sibusiso Dlomo (Menzi Ngubane). Debashine Thangevelo caught up with the revered actor to find out more about the anarchy his character plans to unleash after a five year (in soapie time, of course) stint in a Thai prison…
KEEP your friends close and your enemies closer. Sibusiso Dlomo should have heeded that adage when he framed his archenemy, Kenneth Mashaba (Seputla Sebogodi), for drug peddling.
He may have temporarily gotten rid of Kenneth, who was locked away in a Thai prison for a few years, but that only helped create an even more ruthless enemy. And Kenneth had ample time to conceive Sibusiso’s torture and inevitable demise.
Now that he is back on home turf, the former media tycoon (although it won’t be long before he reclaims his empire) is calculatedly strategising his next move.
When Sebogodi decided to leave SABC1’s Generations more than a year ago, he wanted to focus on his other interests – industrial theatre and gospel music.
But his exit was short-lived as the popularity of Kenneth beckoned his return.
The actor explains: “It’s the biggest soap in the land. The writers know my character and I can relate to his story. Generations is family.
“When you go, you want to come back because you know that you have such nice chemistry with the people you work with. When I was approached, I couldn’t say no to such a prestigious offer.”
Of Kenneth’s open-ended exit, he says: “I was wrongfully arrested for drugs and spent some time in Thailand. My return starts back in jail. From there people must just watch what happens…”
And Sibusiso Dlomo is enemy number one on the hit list.
“He knows what he has done. He has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and he has to pay,” Sebogodi points out.
Now this isn’t the first battle between the notorious bad boys, so what makes the imminent face-off different?
“They are going to take it (the fight) to another level. Kenneth remembers he wasted about four to five years in jail because of this person. Kenneth’s way is to use somebody like a family member in his vendetta. That is his modus operandi,” he shares.
On the business front, however, it looks like the former media mogul will have to start over again.
Although he is a one-man army at the moment, Kenneth might rope in a few allies along the way.
“Or maybe old friends like Ace. I don’t know,” he teases.
During his branching-out phase, the actor also bagged a lead role on Mzansi Magic’s Zabalaza, opposite long-time friend Baby Cele.
He recalls: “As an actor, it’s nice to experience and do other things. The greatest thing that ever happened during that ‘break’ is that I got to write two beautiful movies.”
However, he plans on financing it himself at some point as a partnership might impact on his vision. And he already has had a few bad experiences in that regard.
“I was signed by a company, which sold so many copies of my album but I never made a cent off it. I had to make peace with it.
“The next album I co-produced with my friend. But that relationship wasn’t so hunky-dory. We had problems with distribution and what he wanted to do.
“Now I have my own company and I will be doing my music on my own terms. For me, it isn’t about selling albums, it is about changing someone’s life with music.”
His third album, Buya, which is drawn from observing society, releases at the end of August.
As for returning to familiar territory on the Generations set, he admits: “It’s like I never left. We are still doing the same things like playing pool in our spare time. The way I was welcomed, felt so good.”
Business factor aside, Tonight asked Sebogodi if there is romance on the cards for Kenneth once again.
He laughs: “Ja, that’s a heavy one. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I will be interested to see what will happen to the love of my life. Dineo is the crème da le crème of Kenneth’s heart. There will never be another woman except her.”
In the meantime, he is having a ball shooting with Patrick Shai and Slindile Nodangala. He adds: “And a few scenes with Sibusiso. It is amazing how we hate each other on screen while off screen, we’re best friends. I remember in the early 1990s, we’d spend every weekend watching soccer…”
Having these two giants wage war against each other – that’s worth watching. Hats off to the scriptwriters for their ingenuity!
• Seputla Sebogodi is back on Generations on weekdays at 8pm.