Naledi’s glamorous mom Yvonne Thebe comes breezing into Newtown.
Hello, mamma Yvonne. It’s time to ruffle a few feathers! Weekdays e.tv (*194) 19:30
When Naledi (Dineo Moeketsi) calls an urgent Thebe family meeting on Friday 24 June, the last person she’s expecting to answer that call is her own mother. Yvonne Thebe (Kgomotso Christopher) stayed away during the (offscreen) funeral for Naledi’s late brother Thateho and there was also no sign of her when Naledi was in a coma following her run-in with Thembeka (Masasa Mbangeni) in December 2015. But here she comes on Thursday 30 June, looking every inch the devoted mamma…
The Thebes have been a class act and Yvonne is no exception the first time we see her, on Thursday 30 June. “Her wardrobe tells us that she’s a woman with a very mature and expensive taste. She’s a woman with style,” says Kgomotso. “Yvonne’s wardrobe tells you she loves the high life… money, status, luxury, opulence. She knows the effect her appearance has on men. Her first outfit will definitely have the audience wondering who this lady is in a rusted-orange, low- cut number.” But Kgomotso hints that “what I love about her wardrobe is also that it’s a beautiful mask and veil of the woman Yvonne really is”.
AGE BEFORE BEAUTY
Yvonne’s clothes are also a bit of a mask for a real-life trick too. Since Dineo and Kgomotso are born about 10 years apart, Scandal!’s wardrobe and make-up department have been careful to craft an image that will allow Kgomotso to seem old enough to be her mom. “I had reservations as soon as I received the character breakdown,” Kgomotso admits. “I was concerned that the age difference may not make me the best candidate for the role. But after much creative consultation with the team, screen tests, hair and make-up trials, I was convinced that we could make it work,” Kgomotso says.
MOTHER & DAUGHTER
On Friday 1 July, mamma Yvonne will sit Naledi down for a heart-to-heart in which she reveals the truth about their family affairs. “I hope viewers will read her as a mother who has come to reconnect with her long-lost daughter after years of living separately,” says Kgomotso. “As much as I know that Yvonne’s story is more colourful and layered, I hope that the first time viewers get to see her, they experience a caring, loving mother who wasn’t able to be in her children’s lives and is hoping to make amends.” And if at first Yvonne seems a little stiff, chalk that up to reality. “Even real-life encounters of that nature will perhaps, at times, come across as disingenuous because the mother and daughter are, in fact, estranged and there is not necessarily a connection between the two of them,” explains Kgomotso.
GOODBYE KATLEGO, HELLO YVONNE
Soapie fans have only just seen Kgomotso “get the shaft” when her character Katlego was killed off on rival soapie Isidingo (1998- current) in late April this year – and going from one major role to the next has taken some careful consideration. “I have had to try to look out for performance characteristics which become a trait of playing the same role for over five years; they hide themselves very well. But when found, it’s a case of ‘search and destroy!’” Kgomotso laughs. And the characters are two very different people. “Katlego was initially pitched as a villainess whose world revolved around the manipulation of the men in her life,” Kgomotso explains. “Yvonne is a hustler. She has used men to have a life of leisure, but men aren’t central to her world. Yvonne strives for the appearance of being the loving, sweet and innocent party in most situations – very different from the undiplomatic Kat who was notorious for her sharp tongue!”