DINEO HITS THE BIG TIME

One of the small screen’s prom­i­nent ac­tresses talks about her life and ca­reer

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

Af­ter seven years of pa­tience and per­se­ver­ance, ac­tress Dineo Moeketsi is fi­nally get­ting her big break. She has a thick CV and she has done a host of cameos and sup­port­ing roles, which she never took for granted. Moeketsi’s wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and mo­ti­va­tion brought her to where she is to­day.

“What you see now on screen is an ac­tress who’s been very hard on her­self to get to this point,” she says.

Moeketsi plays Kea – a drug ad­dict who comes from a wealthy fam­ily – in Mzansi Magic’s te­len­ov­ela, The Queen. She played lovelorn Gugu in the ro­man­tic com­edy Mrs Right Guy and stresses that it has been a roller coaster ride for the past seven years.

“A lot of peo­ple think an overnight sen­sa­tion lit­er­ally hap­pens overnight, but it’s not the case. It’s been a labour of love. And I have achieved some­thing that I could never have done in the be­gin­ning of my act­ing ca­reer – to be hon­est about self-doubt, worry and fear,” she says.

Moeketsi says that Fer­gu­son Films – owned by act­ing cou­ple Con­nie and Shona Fer­gu­son – sin­gled her out for this role and ap­proached her while she was still work­ing on the soapie Scan­dal.

“I’ve been for au­di­tions to Fer­gu­son Films for dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tions ever since it was es­tab­lished in 2010. I even au­di­tioned for Rockville sea­son 1, 2 and 3. It [her suc­cess] has been years in the mak­ing,” she says.

How­ever, says the for­mer pre­sen­ter of the mu­sic mag­a­zine show O Ac­cess, the role of Kea did hap­pen just at the right time.

“It is God’s tim­ing. When you are in it, you feel like you’ve been re­jected, but that’s not the case.”

For the past few weeks, Moeketsi’s char­ac­ter has been through an in­tense time. She got di­vorced, has be­come in­creas­ingly frus­trated and finds that the only so­lu­tion for her is to feed her drug habit.

“It was a chal­leng­ing two months, drain­ing but very re­ward­ing. You sit back and af­ter the moment has hap­pened, you go wow! Like, you got there.”

In­deed, Moeketsi’s hard work ap­pears to be pay­ing off. She was re­cently nom­i­nated for an Africa Magic TV Award for best ac­tress in Mrs Right Guy.

“I’m very ex­cited. When I heard the news, I stopped on the side of the road to cry. God will­ing, we are tak­ing it. Con­nie [Fer­gu­son] has taught me that the peo­ple are the awards,” she says.

Moeketsi’s act­ing coach and do­ing re­search has helped her pre­pare for her new role.

“In my prepa­ra­tion, I never go for the ob­vi­ous choice. Peo­ple must be able to un­der­stand the story with­out you feeding it to them,” she insists.

She ex­plains that ev­ery­body can tap into grief or fear, and view­ers must be able to iden­tify with a char­ac­ter who is scared, up­set or wor­ried, and con­nect with all those emo­tions.

“I don’t know a drug ad­dict, and have never been of­fered drugs, but I have to go through ev­ery av­enue to un­der­stand my char­ac­ter. You have to build it for your­self, cre­ate the en­vi­ron­ment and do re­search through­out that process,” she says.

Asked for ad­vice for other women go­ing through Kea’s predica­ment, she says: “The rich girl is mis­un­der­stood in South Africa. Some­times wealthy means you don’t have to work. Daddy has pos­si­bly set up a trust fund for you. But it doesn’t make them bad peo­ple.”

And if you are on this roller coaster, you need to fight harder to get off.

“Un­for­tu­nately, your rea­son for stop­ping [with drug ad­dic­tion], I can’t tell you and no­body else can tell you. Kick­ing a habit is a day-by-day thing. You can’t just wake up and say I’m clean,” she says.

“Black com­mu­ni­ties need to start hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions that are tough. We see how re­la­tion­ships fall apart be­cause in black house­holds we don’t talk much about se­ri­ous is­sues that af­fect us on a daily ba­sis.”

And, no in­ter­view with Moeketsi would be com­plete with­out a ques­tion about her bae, rap­per Zothile “Solo” Langa.

She blushes: “We are two happy peo­ple who are in love with each other. We en­joy our time to­gether. Even though we’ve been to­gether for over four years, it feels like we just met.”

Dineo Moeketsi

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