Kgomotso Christopher returns to the small screen as Dineo Price in M-Net’s first telenovela, ’Legacy’. Picture: Supplied
Kgomotso Christopher returns to the small screen as Dineo Price in M-Net’s first telenovela, ’Legacy’. Picture: Supplied

Kgomotso Christopher ditches the 'trophy wife' stereotype in M-Net’s ‘Legacy’

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Sep 20, 2020

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In March this year, I chatted with Kgomotso Christopher about her exit from e.tv’s "Scandal!"

After playing Yvonne Thebe, Naledi’s (played by Dineo Moeketsi) estranged mum for four years, fans were gutted over her departure.

Then Covid-19 arrived at the end of March and the focus of South Africans shifted to safety and job security.

With the country relishing its level 1 lockdown status, things are slowly returning to normal and, given the celebratory mood, fans welcome Christopher’s small screen comeback.

The Safta award-winning actress is one of the leads on M-Net’s star-studded first telenovela, “Legacy”.

Cast as the current Mrs Price, she is a thorn in the side of Angelique (Michelle Botes), who is Sebastian Price’s (Deon Lotz) former lawyer wife.

Beyond bagging another plum role, Christopher is chuffed to be working with one of SA’s lead production houses.

She admitted: “Tshedza Pictures is thee catch-phrase in the current content-producing space and I’ve always been a fan of the work they produce.

“For years, I would speak to them about their upcoming projects and possible future work opportunities.

“When they contacted me about an upcoming production and showed me the concept of ‘Legacy’ to see if I would be interested, I was really thrilled for the chance to work with them.

“Many meetings and many, many calls and screen tests later, here we are!”

Kgomotso Christopher. Picture: Supplied

Although soapies are a familiar playground, the telenovela space is new to Christopher.

She admitted: “Technically and format-wise there is indeed a difference between the two genres, the telenovela being a "small book/ novela" and because of that, the story always has to have a definite ending/conclusion versus a soapie, which doesn’t.

“However, it's safe to say that this difference isn't necessarily adhered to in South Africa.

“There's a rise in telenovelas that run for years on end, which is great for us as actors or shows that start off as telenovelas and convert to soapies over time.

“I would say as an actor the main difference for me is moving from studio-based production to location-based one.

“Also moving from a multi-camera shooting technique to mostly single-cam technique.”

On working alongside Botes as a formidable rival in the show, Christopher revealed: ”Well, actually it's one happy and long overdue reunion to work with Michelle again!

“We last went head to head during our days on ‘Isidingo’. It's been a thrilling ride to get to play alongside her again. She's an incredible actress.

“She is also very giving, creatively. I would say the same of the entire ‘Legacy’ cast.”

Although her character comes across as a trophy wife, she is far from it.

“Dineo Price isn't a trophy wife. She's a very significant part of the ‘Legacy’ corporate and business life.

“As an actor, I needed to get used to a character that has a job - a very serious one at that - and familiarise myself with boardroom scences and the lingo. It’s a welcome change for me as an actor,” she admitted.

“Legacy” centres on the conflict at an upmarket investment company, founded by Sebastian.

With him looking forward to handing over the baton as he embraces his impending retirement, a huge battle bubbles under to take over his position as CEO.

Mary-anne Barlow is ruthlessly ambitious as Sebastian’s eldest daughter. Aside from internal family wars, there are external threats but within the confines of the company.

On Barlow’s adding an interesting dynamic, Christopher offered: “I spend the majority of my time on set with Mary-Anne...our beloved MAB! Another incredibly gifted performer I've also had the privilege to work with previously on ‘Isidingo’. I'm very fortunate to have reunited with her as well.

“She does indeed shake things up and I can't wait for the country to see her take on Felicity Price.”

She elaborated on the different layers to her character.

“Dineo Price is pitched as the matriarch to the very wealthy Price family.

“She’s got everything money, wealth and opulence. She’s also a corporate woman, a mother and protector of her family’s Legacy.

“ Its been interesting play a cool, calm and collected character. She’s measured and keeps her cards close to her.

“That's the interesting and exciting thing about the writing for ‘Legacy’, alliances and allegiances change all the time, which makes it quite interesting for the viewers. Of course, for the actor, you're kept on your toes…”

The magnetism of “Legacy” is likened to “Succession” and is underpinned by stellar performances from an incredibly talented cast.

“Legacy” airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 7pm, every Monday to Thursday, from September 21.

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