Actor Kagiso Rathebe. Picture: Supplied
Actor Kagiso Rathebe. Picture: Supplied

Kagiso Rathebe talks about his new role on 'Scandal!'

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Apr 26, 2020

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Actor and model Kagiso Rathebe bagged himself a new role on one of the country’s most watched soapies, e.tv's "Scandal!".

 This is after having his first international role on ITV’s "Noughts and Crosses" alongside Bonnie Mbuli, where he played her toyboy.  

The former "Generations" star plays Amo, a photographer in his late 20's who works as a freelancer for NFH.

Kagiso said the role came about over a year ago when he was working on "Spoorloos", a kykNET drama with the show’s producer, Ilse van Hemert.

“We had a couple of brief conversations about the prospect of me joining the show, but it was only an idea at the time so quite a bit of time did pass before anything materialized.
And then in June of last year, my agent called me about the role of a photographer that they had and the answer was an instant of course”, he says.

Amo being an enigma is what attracted Kagiso to the role. “I guess I really appreciated the fact that the character's sort of an enigma. There's still a lot about him that we don’t know, besides the fact that he is so career-driven and clearly has an infatuation with Hlengiwe (Nqobile Khumalo). 

""But honestly, I had no idea where the story was heading when I signed on, I think just being a part of the show and its narrative was enough for me”. 

Amo is caught up in a sexual misconduct incident at NFH, where a colleague complains about him behaving inappropriately towards her. It's "Scandal!"'s take on #MeToo and shines a light on just how sexual assault in the workplace is so prevalent. His relatioship with Hlengiwe also has a rough start when he secretly caresses her thigh during a work meeting and she's visibly uncomfortable about it and addresses it with him. 

Speaking on the differences between Amo and other characters he has played, Kagiso said that Elam (Generations the Legacy) and Anda (Igazi), were more of a representation of what it is to be a gay black man in South Africa, characters who were comfortable with their sexuality and what that means.

“I think Amo, on the other hand, represents the modern black male in the workforce, who may be driven and charming, but also a little ignorant and still has a lot to learn.

“I love his 'Devil May Care' attitude quite honestly; he can be quite impulsive with his decisions, which gets him in trouble. But I think he has a thirst for life, and there's clearly more to him than meets the eye." 

He adds that Amo’s extreme passion for his craft is something that he can relate to. “He is the guy who'd stop at nothing to get 'the perfect shot' you know. Otherwise, there’s a lot of things about him that are quite different to me”.

On his experience on the critically acclaimed British drama, "Noughts and Crosses", he says it was an amazing experience. 

“I mean we shot that show in Cape Town towards the end of 2018. It was the first international show I’ve done, so that was pretty wild. I guess getting to be a part of a story that just feels so timely and current- its an adaptation of a book that’s been beloved in the UK for many years. So I’m just really happy that I got to help bring the story to life, even in the tiniest way”, he says.

When it comes to keeping sane during the lockdown, the star says home works were helping.

 “I think morning workouts are the only thing keeping me sane this lockdown quite honestly, they make me feel better about lazying around the whole day”.

*"Scandal!"" airs on e.tv weekdays at 7.30pm 

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