Makgotso Monyemorathoe. Picture: Supplied
Makgotso Monyemorathoe. Picture: Supplied

Makgotso Monyemorathoe speaks of bias against certain 'African aesthetics'

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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Actress Makgotso Monyemorathoe has opened up about her experiences in the entertainment industry and how she has been told she’s not “African” enough.

Taking to Instagram, the “Isithunzi” actress detailed some of the challenges she’s faced when auditioning and how she's consistently been told that she's not African or South African enough, to bring certain characters to life.

“I have been told countless of times, when auditioning for certain roles, that I don't look African or South African enough.

““Which is absurd, because I am both of those things. Also, black British roles have been a myth.

“And I have been told (not in so many words) to accept it because that's just how the industry is,” she wrote in a lengthy post.

Makgotso went on to explain the reason behind her “non-African” accent, saying that it was partially because she was raised in England at a young age.

“I am an African. A South African Zulu and Pedi woman to be precise, with British citizenship too, because I was raised in England from a very young age.

“I speak Zulu more fluently than Pedi because I was raised by a Zulu woman and, on occasion, you will hear one of the many SA accents when I speak English, infused with a certain kind of British accent (because there's not just one British accent).

She went on to add that she believes that the entertainment industry has a lot of work to do to become more inclusive.

“Representation is important. When I watch TV, film, theatre or print/digital media – we should see all kinds of people from different backgrounds, different abilities, different sexes, sizes, etc.

“Art is an imitation of life. And life is not just black and white. Tall or short, slim or curvy. As a people, we are so diverse. I learn something new every day.” Actress Thuso Mbedu agreed with her post.

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