Rosie leaves the sink­ing ship

KG’s wed­ding

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Zabalaza Mon-Thu Mzansi Magic 21:00

On Fri­day 28 Au­gust, Zabalaza’s (2013-cur­rent) vil­lain­ous Vic­to­ria (Rosie Motene) ran away from the po­lice – the crazy char­ac­ter’s now in per­ma­nent hid­ing and will not be seen again. In re­al­ity, Rosie re­signed from the soapie and tells tv­plus why she made the de­ci­sion to leave.

What were your rea­sons for leav­ing Zabalaza? There were a lot of rea­sons when I re­signed in June 2015, but one of the main rea­sons I left was in re­gards to do­ing semi-nude and sex scenes. We had a meet­ing with the pro­duc­ers to find a way through this last year, when the scenes were first writ­ten. I asked my agent to put in my con­tract that there were to be no sex scenes what­so­ever, be­cause I’m not com­fort­able with that, so that was agreed upon. But then they [the pro­duc­ers] kept send­ing wardrobe memos for [Vic­to­ria’s] lin­gerie… I set up a meet­ing with the ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, stat­ing how un­com­fort­able I was. Then three days later, another scene was writ­ten, in which I was ex­pected to per­form in cer­tain ways. The ex­cuse given was my char­ac­ter was crazy and that I need to get used to it. I told my agent that con­trac­tu­ally, I didn’t have to “get used to it”. I took a stand be­cause they were not re­spect­ing my rights. What’s your re­la­tion­ship with Mzansi Magic like now? I’m on very good terms with them. I had a great meet­ing with Mzansi Magic and they sup­ported my de­ci­sion. I’m not sur­prised be­cause I’ve been with M-Net for years and they re­spect gen­der equal­ity. They don’t only lis­ten but they de­liver. I only got an apol­ogy from the pro­duc­ers af­ter my meet­ing with Mzansi Magic and even af­ter that, when I went back to com­plete my term on the soap, I still got blamed. See­ing the treat­ment of women on set and how a lot of dis­re­spect and sex­ism is thrown un­der the cov­ers makes me fu­ri­ous.

Are you happy with the way Vic­to­ria left

the show? I don’t know if there was a bet­ter way that she could have ex­ited or if she could have been more dra­matic, but one thing I’m glad about is the emo­tional scene that I had with my son Vic­tor (played by Bo­hang Moeko), be­cause he’s such a phe­nom­e­nal upand-com­ing ac­tor. We worked re­ally hard to­gether and I’m glad that I ended up do­ing my last scene with some­body who did the jour­ney with me. What will you miss about play­ing Vic­to­ria? Her crazi­ness. It was very chal­leng­ing to play her, but I loved the chal­lenge, es­pe­cially hav­ing to play a mother. Also her evil­ness. When we cre­ated the char­ac­ter, we wrote her history and I took in­spi­ra­tion from Alexis (Joan Collins) from Dy­nasty (1981-1989) be­cause she was el­e­gant and wicked.

What are you plans from here on? Prior to Zabalaza, I ran WAKA Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, which is an artist agency, so that will move for­ward. And now I’m go­ing to take on other cast­ing projects that I’d turned down pre­vi­ously be­cause of time. I’ll be work­ing closely with the South African Guild Of Ac­tors, as well as do­ing work­shops on TV pre­sent­ing, on in­dus­try scam­mers and on gen­der in­equal­ity. I’ll be back au­di­tion­ing, plus I want to chal­lenge my­self in other roles. But for now, I have the time to mourn my fa­ther, who passed away re­cently.

Rosie Motene has moved on to new things, but she

misses her char­ac­ter.

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