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Comedian and actor Koobeshen Naidoo explores his dark side in ‘Mother Of All’

Koobeshen Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Koobeshen Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 17, 2023


Koobeshen Naidoo is renowned for tickling the funnybone on TV and stage but in eVOD’s new series, “Mother Of All”, he unleashes another side.

Naidoo stars alongside Buyile Mdladla, as Prabakar, one of the five men who rule the underworld.

His character debuted in episode two when he attended the funeral of a man who was murdered by one of the members in their group.

“I’m one of the five gentlemen who illegally and with a whole lot of corruption run politicians and the country from the background, using illegal means,” Naidoo said about Prabakar.

“It’s a very interesting storyline. I think the writers took a chance because they kind of went international with the storyline. They were not afraid to tackle things that you would only read in James Patterson novels.

“I think it worked though, there is a nice South African twist to it and I really enjoyed it.”

“Mother Of All” revolves around Nolwazi “Nono” Mathebula (Zenande Mfenyana), an ex-cop turned convict, who has been released from prison after 10 years.

She is trying to get her life back in order when one of the local gangsters commits a murder and blackmails her daughter, as he has her fingerprint on the murder weapon.

Nono returns to her old ways to do everything she can to save her daughter.

Back to Naidoo, it is the first time he has been cast in such a role but he thoroughly enjoyed the process of letting out his darker side.

Of course, it came with its fair share of challenges.

“It was fun being nasty and letting the dark side come through after comedy and ‘The Kandasamys’.”

“It was very challenging at first but once I got it to it I found that it is easy to get into the dark side and nastiness.

“I withdrew from everyone for at least 30 minutes before the shoot and just focused on getting angry so that I could portray this character well,” said Naidoo.

Koobeshen Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

He added that the directors helped him a lot along the way.

“One of the directors use to tell me that I smile a lot. I had to learn not to. I also had to work on my eyes, I had to think dark thoughts so that my eyes would reflect it.

“I also had help from Buyile (who plays Duke), he was intense. He was brilliant and so was Zenande. I found myself feeding of their energy a lot.”

He said that this show pulled most of the actors out of their comfort zones.

“It stretched us as performers. From the episodes I’ve watched I am amazed not only at the cinematography and storyline, but in the performances and the way in which they filmed us, it really comes through very strikingly.”

Speaking on whether he will tackle more villainous characters in the future, he said, “I am a lot more comfortable doing comedy, I feel a lot more open to comedy because of the kind of person I am.

“South Africa seems to be doing more dramas so if you’re a full-time actor and a role comes up, you going to go for it.

“I wouldn’t mind trying. Hopefully this opens up avenues for me, however, there are certain scenes I would never do, like take my shirt of in front of anyone – I’d probably scare them away,” he joked.

Naidoo said viewers would be pleasantly surprised by the show.

“It is well made, it’s got everything from action to drama to brilliant acting. The cinematography, the scenes from different locations in Durban, is magnificent to look at.

“Watch it from a different perspective, see it as somebody trying something different with storytelling in SA, and see some of your favourite performers doing something that’s totally out of their comfort zone.”

∎ “Mother of All” is currently streaming on eVOD, with new episodes dropping every Tuesday.