On top of his game

Award-win­ning ac­tor War­ren Masemola leads a quiet life but his tal­ent is the talk of town

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Phaka­mani Mve­lashe and Vin­cent Phahlane

WHEN SABC1's Tjovitjo hit our small screens, it was with­out a doubt that lead ac­tor, War­ren Masemola (34), was set to de­liver yet an­other stel­lar per­for­mance. With a com­mand­ing stage pres­ence and un­de­ni­able charm, War­ren is al­ways a per­fect fit in his roles.


He views him­self as an artist and doesn’t put much en­ergy into the ex­tras that come with fame.

“I don’t know fame. I only see peo­ple cel­e­brat­ing me and my work. I con­tinue to live my life the way I’ve al­ways lived,” he tells Move!.

Un­like many peo­ple in the spot­light, War­ren has man­aged to keep his per­sonal life out of the glar­ing eye of the pub­lic. None­the­less, he has con­firmed that he has a sta­ble girl­friend.

“I want to get mar­ried and have 10 kids.”


Grow­ing up in Soshanguve, north of Pre­to­ria, War­ren could have never imag­ined that he would one day be a cel­e­brated ac­tor. He was di­ag­nosed with Alope­cia, a con­di­tion that left him bald.

“Not hav­ing hair used to be an is­sue when I was younger, but I have got­ten over it,” he told a mag­a­zine.


De­spite his con­vinc­ing por­trayal of an over the top gay char­ac­ter in Ses'Top La, he re­vealed in a TV in­ter­view that he was once ho­mo­pho­bic to a point where he was even kicked out of school at the Mar­ket The­atre Lab­o­ra­tory be­cause of his in­tol­er­ance. “I think I was just not in­formed. Grow­ing up in Pre­to­ria, I was very ig­no­rant. Al­though we had Amon, who was gay and was mak­ing am­ag­winya (fat cakes), I think it was em­bed­ded at the back of my head that “gay” is not some­thing we as­so­ciate with,” he ex­plained in the in­ter­view.

How­ever, he re­alised he has to do some in­tro­spec­tion and speak to both ho­mo­pho­bic and ho­mo­sex­ual peo­ple to un­der­stand and re­ha­bil­i­tate him­self.


War­ren has played many char­ac­ters in his ca­reer, but his star is at its bright­est in his role as MaFred in Tjovitjo. For his role in Tjovitjo, he has to bal­ance be­ing a thug with be­ing a dancer, some­thing that his train­ing in con­tem­po­rary dance helps with.

“Be­ing able to switch be­tween dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters has a lot to do with tap­ping into dif­fer­ent rhythms, some­thing I am able to do with ease be­cause of my back­ground in dance.”

He adds that tak­ing on roles that chal­lenge him helps to sharpen his skills. Un­like his squeaky clean im­age, his char­ac­ters are of­ten trou­bled and dan­ger­ous.


When he is not work­ing on his stage and TV pro­duc­tions, he is trav­el­ling.

“I love trav­el­ling and do it ev­ery chance I get. My last big mem­o­rable trip was Paris in 2012. I love lan­guages and be­lieve the best way to learn them is through trav­el­ling,” he re­vealed, adding that the travel bug bit him just af­ter he grad­u­ated from the Mar­ket The­atre Lab­o­ra­tory.

“Af­ter grad­u­at­ing I worked in the­atre and did Euro­pean the­atre which re­quired in­ten­sive trav­el­ling be­tween 2006 and 2008,” he says.


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