Rami Chuene is expecting her fourth child at the end of April or the first week of May, but she isn't at home getting some R&R.

Instead, she is on the set of Scandal for a gruelling shoot of 10 to 11 scenes a day as the storyline centres on her character, Thatho Nyathi, and the men in her life.

To put readers in the picture, Thatho is married to Stan (Luthuli Dlamini), the editor of The Voice, and they have a son, Mangi. She wanted to fall pregnant again via IVF to keep Stan from finding out about her steamy past with Vusi Zwane (Siyabonga Twala), the paper's publisher and Stan's best mate.

Unfortunately, a vindictive Nirvana (Keren Tahor), determined to get her ex-lover Stan back, manipulates the situation and Thatho is injected with Vusi's sperm instead.

Thatho was then unceremoniously thrown out of the house and ended up playing happy families with Vusi.

I caught up with Chuene days before her birth scene was aired. And boy, was she excited about it.

"Listen, you must watch the delivery, eh," she urged. "It is so real and they even have a life-like umbilical chord and a real baby. My character goes into labour three weeks early and Nirvana assists with the delivery. After the birth the story takes on a whole new twist."

I pushed her for more details and she gave in.

"There is a plot centred on the kidnapping of Thatho's newborn.

"And then one of the men in her life gets shot and becomes an invalid, forcing Thatho to make a crucial decision about her future."

Was Thatho's pregnancy written into the storyline to coincide with her real-life pregnancy?

"No, my pregnancy is a good three months behind Thatho's. At the moment, my scenes are very cleverly shot because my tummy is getting really big and we couldn't stop shooting. I am either seen carrying a blanket, wearing a huge gown or concealed by a clothes basket," she laughed.

Despite the raging hormones, Chuene did not stop acting.

"That is work - the show must go on," she added. "Being pregnant is not funny, hey, I get hot and flushed. At the moment there are a couple of people leaving the show and we are working really long hours to finish all their scenes. I get tired and moody, but I still do it."

Prior to joining Scandal, Chuene was involved in musical theatre and had supporting roles in Hijack Stories, Generations and Isidingo.

Her big break was in Backstage, where she played Pearl, one of the lecturers at Vulindela College.

"When I auditioned for Backstage, I didn't think I would get it. I went in with half an Afro and the rest of my hair still in braids. At the time I was a size 26 and all my clothes had to be altered, which frustrated the costume department. But I had fun. Now I am a proper 34," she shared.

Back to her co-stars in Scandal, Chuene says: "They are so professional, everyone comes prepared. Siyabonga has such a different aura to Luthuli. We have a great time off set and they make working together so easy. Keren is a real sweetheart and a brilliant actress. We'd be goofing around one moment and the next she would become this different person on set."

When asked how she is juggling work, being pregnant and running a family, she chuckled: "I don't cope, I need help."

On a more serious note, Chuene added: "Thank God, my kids have grown up a bit and they help around the house.

"My husband, Tshepo Desando, has been cooking most of the time - unfortunately for him. He has been great. Already he is thinking about the late night and early morning feedings, changing of nappies. We don't know the sex of the baby but I will find out at my next check-up."

  • Scandal, e.tv, 7.30pm, Monday to Thursday.