Besotted former inmate Patricia (Reshoketswe Sebotsane) is the only person who thinks a deranged Naomi exemplifies perfection in e.tv’s Rhythm City. While she doesn’t reciprocate Patricia’s feelings, exploiting them to reclaim her power as head of 9-Nine isn’t beneath her. Debashine Thangevelo caught up with the soap’s former casting director (Sebotsane) to find out what it feels like to be Naomi’s pawn and the frustrations at having to be submissive in her role.
With an illustrious 18-year career under her belt, TV and theatre actress Reshoketswe Sebotsane has explored a gamut of roles: a lover, a mother, a hooker and an old man, to name a few.
But exploring the depths of submission required for her role as Patricia in e.tv’s Rhythm City has definitely unsettled the strong- willed person within. Of course, those are the sacrifices an actor makes to lend authenticity to their character.
Interestingly, Sebotsane worked as a casting director on the soap in 2008 – this was after she became a household name as Tumi in SABC2’s Muvhango.
“I have been doing this for years now. I had worked with quite a number of people on different productions before. Word of mouth has a strong impact in this industry.
“I was the production manager for Joburg Arts Alive 2012 when I received an e-mail. I went through and landed the role. I know it sounds easy, but…”
As for her long stint on Muvhango, Sebotsane laughs at her inability to shake off the character over the years.
“It was Lebo Mathosa’s role. At the time, she became so involved in music, so they called me to try out. I got the role on the spot.
“It was exciting at first as she was a Soweto girl everyone could identify with. But it got to a point where I felt the storylines would shift and they were staying on certain characters too long and I was getting bored. When I fell pregnant with my daughter, I left,” she explains.
Cast as a former convict who killed her abusive husband, Patricia is also, after undertaking a business course in prison, very savvy in such matters. Having fallen hopelessly in love with Naomi in jail, she didn’t need much coaxing in helping her reclaim all she has lost – status wise.
Now that Naomi is in charge of 9-Nine, there’s just one niggling problem – getting rid of Ivan Tshinawa’s daughter, Nkhensani, so that she can take over his empire. Who better to assist than a gullible Patricia?
“Patricia has this huge crush on Noami and will go out of her way to give her what she wants. Naomi doesn’t have a game plan, but having Patricia by her side makes her able to do what she needs to do. The roles between the two have switched.
“In jail, Patricia protected and took care of Naomi. Now that she finds herself out in the real world, she depends on Naomi.”
As for Naomi stringing Patricia along, she says: “Naomi is not gay, which hurts her deeply. But she is an optimist. Or maybe she is twisted?
“There were times when I hated Patricia for the decisions she has made. And she got nothing back from Naomi, but kept going back. That was pretty hard for me as a performer.
“I have never been in a position where I had to be overtly submissive – it was usually part of an emotional subtext.”
Comparing her character and mannerisms to a real tomboy, she chuckles at the irony between Patricia’s wardrobe and her perfect weaves.
With Naomi more of a lone crusader, who knows when Patricia might outlive her usefulness, tune in to see how much exploitation Patricia is willing to put up with before those rose-tinted glasses come off and the claws come out.