Rosie leaves the sinking ship
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.