Mohale talks 'Rhythm City', plans for a talk show & playing a cisgender straight guy
Last week, Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo joined e.tv’s popular soapie, “Rhythm City” albeit for a brief stint.
Of course, given his high-profile relationship with Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung, the news got a lot of traction on social media.
By now, he is used to the attention, not to mention the trolling.
But Motaung-Mhlongo maintains his steely determination to carve his own successes in the industry, too.
In a recent chat, he commented: “Some things you can’t control as a person. I think it’s something that I’ve experienced for quite some time now. And because of that, when it happens now, it doesn’t move me.
“I believe people are allowed to have their own opinions about whatever but it doesn’t now mean that I shouldn’t pursue opportunities or gigs simply because people don’t think I’m deserving.
“I’ve just decided that I’m going to work, lead my life and do what I have to do because, really, I can’t stop for every dog that barks!
“I need to keep it moving.
“I need to do my work and, for as long as the people I’m working for or working with are happy and I’m happy - that’s all that matters.
I mean the producers at ‘Rhythm City’ are happy. The directors are happy
“So if they are happy, then I’m good. I don’t want to explain myself to anyone else.”
Cast as Kudzo, he was introduced into the story arc as the suave head of sponsorship for a big cell phone company.
However, it was all a ruse choreographed by Pearl (the late David Genaro’s daughter, played by Petronella Tshuma), who has a score to settle with Suffocate (Mduduzi Mabaso).
Peeling back the layers of his character, Motaung-Mhlongo shared: “So firstly, he’s a businessman.
“He’s into very big and bold business moves.
“He is one person who likes everything to go his way.
“He’s not a person who’s very patient with other people giving opinions about business about him.
“He’s also a very confident person who enjoys living larger than life. But one thing about him is that when things don’t go his way, he really gets very angry.
“Other than that, he’s a nice guy. He’s rich, he just goes about sponsoring peoples lifestyles.”
Given his own way of life, it wasn’t much of a stretch to dabble in the world of the wealthy.
He laughed: “Ja, definitely. I could say that it wasn’t very far-fetched from my original lifestyle.
“ But it also meant playing the character and understanding the person that Kudzo is and what he wants people to know.”
Shared similarities with his character aside, exploring a scripted part was no walk in the park for the reality TV star, who has acclimated to being in front of the camera in “Somizi and Mohale: The Union” and “Dinner at Somizi's”.
Motaung-Mhlongo added: “I really say it was a natural progression even though it's not as easy.
“There’s much difference between reality TV and acting.
“With the former, there’s not much for you to do because they just want you to as a natural person.
“Acting goes a lot more into your character and the kind of person that you are trying to portray and, in this case, it’s really stepping out from Mohale and portraying Kutzo.”
By the way, he also appeared in season two of MTV’s “Shuga”.
On getting to work alongside a veteran like Mabaso, he praised: “In the beginning I was thinking I was going to be a bit intimidated.
“He’s got years and years of experience. I didn’t know what to expect. But working with him has been the most amazing thing.
“I did most of my lines in seSotho for the venac part of it and, even though he speaks Zulu in most of his lines, he decided to speak seSotho to make me comfortable and to make sure I understand what we are doing.
“He’s really been great. I would work with him anyday.”
As for his final appearance, which plays out on Wednesday, October 7, he hinted: “Kudzo is very angry; angrier than what Mohale has been his whole life. It’s just a business deal that has gone wrong.
“So if anybody wants to see me really, really angry, they must watch the episode.”
As for the possibility of him returning, he offered: “We did have a bit of a chat about it and they asked about my availability in November/December/January and February because they had a writers meeting.
“I think they are working on bringing the character back. So keeping those fingers crossed.”
Looking at the future, he added: “I’m building a platform called, ‘Let’s talk with Mohale’.
“I realise that I really enjoy talking to people and that I’ve got a particular style in interviewing people, which is a skill I never thought I had. It’s already in the pipeline.”
Now that he’s been properly bitten by the acting bug, he added: “I’ve been saying that if I can get a role as a straight guy, it would really challenge me to step out of my comfort zone.
“It ignites me. It’s fun going to set, learning lines.”
And he’s got his eye out on “The River”, too.
“Rhythm City” airs on e.tv at 7pm, weekdays.