New beginnings for Chuene
After a seemingly bitter end with Connie and Shona Ferguson’s production, Rami Chuene has moved onto greener pastures and now is part of the star-studded cast of BET Africa’s new drama, Isono.
Chuene is among other actors who have had to abruptly exit The Queen - the popular show- which include Mlamli Mangcala, who threw accusations at the Fergusons, saying he was underpaid and treated unfairly.
Claims were also made by veteran actress Vatiswa Ndara in a highly public battle last year.
But Chuene has risen above the drama, saying her new character, Jumima, is nothing like popular Gracious “TGOM” Mabuza, or any other.
“Jumima is an eccentric, a gossip-monger who is harmless, funny and always making odd connections and pronouncements. She has suffered traumatic life events and has not been able to heal from them,” said Chuene, adding that her personal experiences have helped her shape this character.
Chuene says she is fascinated at how BET Africa takes one of South Africa’s favourite forms of storytelling to the world.
“To be able to contribute to this rich culture of storytelling by putting it on a global platform is something I pride myself in. I am very excited to deliver a story that entertains and engages but also educates audiences about black culture globally,” she said.
Taking up this character was a no-brainer for her and being trusted with such a role warrants a great performance as repayment, something she is ready to deliver.
With a career that spans more than 25 years, her decision to be part of any production is based on various reasons from storyline to availability to brand association.
Chuene says her tireless efforts to continue cementing her place in the industry have always been pinned at the backdrop of consistency.
“You don’t need a job to start working. Polish your art, master your craft, never stop learning and always be ready to roll with the punches.
“It’s also important to know your monetary value, put a price on your work and never be ashamed to call it for what it is.
“Looking back at the 25-plus years, I have had an amazing journey so far and I am grateful. I’m loving where I am at the moment and I’m very proud of what I have achieved,” she adds.
Isono, which means the sin, is about a dysfunctional family and heroic son who searches for the strength to stand up against a powerful and evil matriarch who will stop at nothing to serve her own needs.
The edgy and fast-paced show features an impressive cast - Senzo Radebe, Bohang Moeko, actor/singer Anga “Naakmusiq” Makubalo, rising star Tokollo “TK” Sebothoma, 2019 winner of the Naledi Theatre Award Didintle Khunou, and celebrated actress Nthati Moshesh.
Commenting on the production, Moshesh said, “I cannot express what a milestone this is for the South African entertainment industry. To take such an admired art form, celebrated by millions of South Africans and put it on a global platform is an accomplishment we can all be proud of. I am humbled by the opportunity and look forward to sharing this powerful story with audiences across the world.
Isono will air in July, the first African drama to an international market, produced by Clive Morris Productions, which has produced award-winning content, with a depth of industry understanding and won accolades locally and internationally.