COVER STORY 19 years later and still going strong
With unmatched experience, Rapulana remains a force to be reckoned with
SOUTH African television that is flooded by gifted actors giving excellent performances, Generations actor Rapulana Seiphemo (49) is never anything less than a joy to watch. His experience is unmatchable as he has graced our screens for almost 19 years. The diversity of his roles has been impressive – from Isidingo and Tsotsi to Generations and Tjovitjo. His presence gives any show a boost.
HUSBAND AND FATHER
Nothing much is known about Rapulana as he is a very private person. Even on social media, he only talks about his work. If you have been wondering about his love life, well, the actor tied the knot with his high school sweetheart Olga Rubeiro, a former manager at a major bank in Mbabane, Swaziland, in 2003. They have three children.
With rumours of infidelity, the two have managed to hold their marriage together and make it work. Years ago, he was accused of beating up his mistress. He admitted that the woman was his girlfriend but denied that he put his hand on her. “I love women and children, and I believe they don’t deserve to be abused and ill-treated. So why would I do something like that? I knew the girl very well. She was my girlfriend then, but we’re no longer together,” he admitted.
Even though he was involved in a fatal accident last year that almost took his life, Rapulana bounced back and still does what he is good at. Reflecting on his career and his time on Muvhango, he says playing Pheko Mokoena on the soapie was one of the best times in his career.
“In my acting life, I think I had the most fun when I was on that set. I loved playing Pheko and Muvhango had a formidable team. Muvhango reflects our culture as black people in South Africa. They are quiet authentic in their approach. I remember the little details that needed to be covered when we were on Muvhango and I appreciate the way they treated their actors. In most productions, when your mother dies, they will just give you a cooldrink and say, 'we still have 10 more scenes to go'. With Muvhango, it is different because when you experience tragedy, they are always there for you.”
Few actors are able to switch from different roles with ease like Rapulana. But it is in Generations – The Legacy that he has made the most impact. His threatening demeanour mixed with crippling self-doubt is attractive to watch. He tries to be a peaceful and honourable man but the hunger for power will not let him be.
Apart from being Tau from Generations, Rapulana is currently on SABC1’s brand new local drama series, Tjovitjo. In the show, he offers a sterling performance that viewers have come to know him for. He plays a former criminal kingpin, Bra Terror, who is now suffering from a hand tremor. Although he is in this sorry state, nothing stops him from being involved in a silent conflict with his secret lover, Ausi Tshidi, played by Harriet Manamela.