Back in 2014, a passionate Tholwana Mohale received the biggest compliment for her singing abilities – she won SA’s Got Talent.
Three years on, she says she’s realised the industry isn’t only about talent.
“It’s about wanting something so bad that you don’t mind sleepless nights and the real discipline it takes to succeed. I’ve learnt that it really is about discipline, coupled with a deep love for what you’re doing otherwise you won’t make it.
“It’s this discipline that has made me grow as an artist/performer and in all aspects of my life, while also having the opportunity to develop my talents at the National School of the Arts (NSA) beyond music to drama and musical theatre. I’ve always wanted to be on stage in a musical – and now I am, and in such a fantastic one, too.”
Tholwana is referring to landing the plum role of Scaramouche in the special school edition of the We Will Rock You.
Tonight asked her about the positives to come out of the reality show, which was the perfect launchpad for her fledgling career.
“It’s made me realise that it doesn’t matter how small the process is that you’re involved in, people will be aware of what you’re doing, and it doesn’t matter how long it seems to take – but it
“In the months after SA’s Got Talent, I thought: ‘Well, it’s all over – but now I’m shooting my first music video. It was also the show that opened the door to the NSA for me, for which I’m forever grateful; getting the best arts education and surrounded by other talented young people who, like myself, are passionate about the arts. I also got the opportunity to go to Germany last year to perform at the K-Dow festival in Düsseldorf.”
About her upcoming album, Tholwana says it’s three releases of three songs and music
“It’s really exciting, though I can’t tell you the name yet. I composed all the numbers on the album, all very different from my previous singles. I suppose the main genre of sounds could be called pop – but it’s a real mix because when I write I don’t like writing to one type of sound, rather to whatever I feel. The first songs and videos will be released by May.”
Since joining the NSA, she’s had her eye on being part of a musical.
“In previous years, I felt I should develop my performance skills on smaller shows but, with this as my last year at school, I decided I had to go for it and audition – and luckily I got the part of Scaramouche.”
Was Scaramouche the role she wanted from the outset?
“Definitely! I saw the list of characters and said: ‘I wants this role’. The reason being that I really identify with her – she’s extremely stubborn and that resonates with me. She’s the most defiant character in the play – and it’s a dream come true playing a role like this.”
Tholwana says she was initially nervous and feared she wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
“But as I dug more into the character and found out she’s so much like me, I realised all I need to do is remember what my drama teachers have taught me and apply that to the best of my abilities.”
As for what audiences will enjoy about this production, which has been slightly adapted for the younger audience, she believes the reason the play is so special is because it commemorates the work of Queen, “probably the greatest band ever in the history of music”.
“Even though other musicals are entertaining, this one kind of shows what’s happening in the word now. The music is amazing – audiences will probably know and love every song. My co-stars are so talented – they have strong characters and personalities, they are dedicated and I’ve seen them grow so much throughout our rehearsals. I’m really proud of them, actually. I can guarantee that different people in every audience will see characters they’ll identify with Galileo, Meat, Britney, Pops, Khashoggi and, of course, Killer Queen – they will blow your mind!”