Mary Mak­gatho gets her TV groove back

Sunday World - - News - XO­LILE MT­S­HAZO

AF­TER three decades in the lo­cal TV in­dus­try, Mary Mak­gatho’s star is shin­ing as brightly as ever as she makes her re­turn to Rhythm City.

Mak­gatho, one of the pi­o­neers of the South African TV in­dus­try, made her de­but on the soap in 2008.

Since then she’s been on and off the se­ries in a sup­port­ing role.

She plays Con­nie, who lives in Mahikeng, North West, and reg­u­larly vis­its her sis­ter Lu­cilla in Gaut­eng.

She will be back on the soap on Fri­day.

“It does not re­ally bother me that I’m not a reg­u­lar on the soapie, what’s im­por­tant is that the char­ac­ter doesn’t die and comes alive now and again, ” she said.

“I know the call will come for a shoot and I will be able to put bread on the ta­ble and pay the bills. That keeps me go­ing.”

Con­nie is emo­tional and er­ratic be­cause of the mis­for­tunes that have be­fallen her.

“Con­nie cries and screams at the drop of a hat as a re­sult of her daugh­ter and son who were killed. She can’t get over it.

“There will be more about her sec­ond son be­ing ha­rassed and abused, but he bot­tles up the trauma and keeps ev­ery­thing a se­cret,” she said.

But when pressed to re­veal more, Mak­gatho said she could not get into de­tail be­cause diehard Rhythm City fans had to find out for them­selves.

“It’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing, though,” she promised.

Mak­gatho, whose first choice was to be­come a teacher or a model, said fi­nan­cial prob­lems back home in Moru­leng, Rusten­burg, prompted her to take up act­ing be­cause her par­ents could not af­ford pay­ing for her teacher train­ing col­lege fees.

“In hind­sight, I think I wanted to be a teacher for all the wrong rea­sons: at the time, for a person to get a job at the SABC, you had to be trained as a teacher, ” Mak­gatho said.

“In mod­el­ling I was told I’m not tall enough to walk the fashion ramps.

“I fell back on act­ing be­cause I al­ways wanted to be on TV,” she added.

Her cred­its in­clude the role of Pu­leng on Gen­er­a­tions.

The sea­soned ac­tress will also be re­mem­bered for her role in the fa­mous Takalani Sesame chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tional se­ries.

She had a stint on the drama se­ries Malimpho and ap­peared in the 2011 movie 31 Mil­lion Rea­sons as Cap­tain Nd­aba, the head of the po­lice.

She has also done nu­mer­ous ra­dio and TV ad­verts and voiceovers, as well as dra­mas when SABC had the mo­nop­oly on the small screen.

In the 1980s, there was only one pay-per-view chan­nel, MNet, be­fore the ad­vent of DStv ’ s Africa Magic, with its Nige­rian Nol­ly­wood low­bud­get films.

Re­cent ad­di­tions in terms of lo­cal movie con­tent have been Mzansi Magic and Bioskop.

Over the years Mak­gatho has looked up to ac­tress and for­mer model Nakedi Ribane and TV drama stal­warts Lil­lian Dube, Boiki Motl­hamme and the late Rose­line Mo­rapeli as role mod­els.

Mak­gatho said the ul­ti­mate goal for her was to nur­ture act­ing tal­ent as a pro­ducer for the lo­cal TV in­dus­try.

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