A face for TV and a voice for radio, Pearl Modiadie is the full package. Having made her mark as a presenter on Craz-e, she has been exploring the world of soaps with cameos in e.tv’s Rhythm City, SABC1’s Generations and now Scandal. Debashine Thangevelo found out how she has become Donna Hardy’s string-puppet in her plan to usurp Mangi Nyathi as the chief executive officer of NZH.
LAST Wednesday, Scandal aficionados were introduced to Kefilwe (Pearl Modiadie) and how she had crossed paths with Donna Hardy (Louise Barnes) in the past.
An opportunist at every turn, it wasn’t hard for a power-hungry Donna to cajole Kefilwe into doing her bidding. And so the devious scheme to remove Mangi Nyathi (Kagiso Madupe) as the chief executive officer of NZH is in play, with him coming face-to-face with Donna’s pawn tonight.
Modiadie explains: “Kefilwe went for the job as the PA to the chief executive not realising that Donna was doing the interview. We worked together before and she knew I was fired for taking drugs at work. She also knows I lied on my CV. She makes it known that she is willing to give me the job if I do something for her.”
The Y-FM DJ, who is also a producer for e.tv’s Sistahood, describes her character as a feisty young woman who is a little troubled because of her background as a substance abuser.
She says: “The plan is for Kefilwe to get as close as possible to Mangi. He just doesn’t know it is a trap (she plans to accuse him of rape).”
Having always been a fan of the soap, right from its inception when it aired in the 8pm slot, the young actress says it was a real honour bagging a role in the daily drama.
Of working alongside Barnes and Madupe, Modiadie recalls: “It was such an honour (to share the same platform as Barnes). I was very intimidated the first day. But I learnt a lot from her in terms of how she does things – like how she memorises her lines and is prepared when she arrives on set.
“With Kagiso, it was easier. I had met him prior to getting on to Scandal, so I was very comfortable working with him.”
With Mangi often getting caught in the crossfire of the business wars at NZH – let’s not forget the time when Abigail got him addicted to drugs – this storyline does not paint Kefilwe in a flattering light… more so as she leads him down a dark and dodgy path.
Does her character have any moral qualms about what she is about to do?
The actress enlightens: “Because of her background, she has done a lot of things that are morally questionable. Now she has reached a point where she wants to change her life. On the one hand she knows what she will get in return if she helps Donna; on the other hand, she also wants to be a better person.”
Although Kefilwe comes across as quite bitchy and someone who will “do whatever it takes to get whatever she wants”, Modiadie says her character’s actions are fuelled largely by her troubled life.
And while the fate of Kefilwe hangs in the balance, the radio personality is keen to explore opportunities in the local film industry.
With versatility crucial for longevity in this claustrophobically tough industry, Modiadie can be commended for being smart enough to explore her options.
• Catch Modiadie in Scandal on e.tv, Monday to Thursday, 7.30pm.