THEMBI SEETE ADDS SPICE TO RHYTHM CITY

CityPress - - Front Page - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

TV pre­sen­ter and well-known singer Thembi Seete is join­ing e.tv soapie Rhythm City, where she will play a drug ad­dict and al­co­holic.

In­ter­viewed at a Joburg res­tau­rant on Wed­nes­day, she could barely con­tain her ex­cite­ment about her new role.

“I’m play­ing Bongi, who is in her late thir­ties. She’s a for­mer child star who was once as big as the late Brenda Fassie or Whit­ney Hous­ton. Bongi was once larger than life and un­touch­able, but in the end she loses ev­ery­thing she has worked for,” she said.

Seete started shoot­ing for the se­ries three weeks ago and will make her de­but at 7pm on July 30.

She said the showbiz in­dus­try came with a lot of fame, money, lone­li­ness and pop­u­lar­ity.

“I knew this from an early age, when I was still with kwaito group Boom Shaka. I saw some of the artists who had all of this and lost ev­ery­thing, like Bongi has lost ev­ery­thing – she’s down and out,” she said.

Seete con­fessed that, grow­ing up as a child star, she was her­self faced with temp­ta­tions such as drugs and al­co­hol.

“I don’t know how we sur­vived that. I re­mem­ber very well [the late] Lebo [Mathosa] and I were the only girls at Kalawa Jazmee when it started. But there was never a time when any­one took ad­van­tage of us,” she said.

“Our drug was mu­sic. We were al­ways wor­ried about our next out­fit, hairdo, hit and the com­pe­ti­tion. Those were the things that kept us drunk.”

Seete said the only sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween her and Bongi was that they both loved mu­sic and fash­ion and were al­ways fight­ing to be at the top. But she said play­ing Bongi had not been easy.

“What makes it more chal­leng­ing is remembering those artists who lost ev­ery­thing they worked for in their ca­reers. I’ve wit­nessed peo­ple be­com­ing big in the in­dus­try and the next mo­ment they have noth­ing,” she said.

“Not even in a mil­lion years did I think I would bring what I saw when I was young into a char­ac­ter,” she said.

“As you know, in this in­dus­try it is very hard to find a char­ac­ter who is rich and telling a story many peo­ple will re­late to. Many mu­si­cians and celebri­ties will re­late to this char­ac­ter, not be­cause they have landed in the same sit­u­a­tion as Bongi, but be­cause they have wit­nessed some­one close to them go­ing through the same life chal­lenges.” She said the sto­ry­line was en­ter­tain­ing and ed­u­ca­tional. “Young peo­ple who want to be in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try are go­ing to take life lessons from Bongi – that be­ing in showbiz comes with a prize.

“It’s not only about the glitz, glam­our or be­ing fa­mous. It’s big­ger than that. It comes with a big re­spon­si­bil­ity to sharpen your craft,” she added. Seete is not new to act­ing. She made her mark by play­ing Hazel in the hard-hit­ting SABC1 drama se­ries Yizo Yizo.

She also por­trayed Lerato in the SABC1 drama se­ries Gaz’lam and starred as Nina on the SABC1 soc­cer drama se­ries Zone 14.

PHOTO: LERATO SE­JAKE

Thembi Seete

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