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Isidingo (1998-current) has never shied away from sensitive topics and an upcoming storyline featuring a shy boy from the townships named Thabang (Pholoso Mohlala) is getting serious from Wednesday 16 August. But there is more to Thabang being in The Deep than earning money and getting a taste of urban culture – he’s on the run!
“I portray a gay character who isn’t sure why he’s feeling the way he does,” says acting newcomer Pholoso. He adds that his 20-year-old character ran away from home because he’s afraid that his family will reject him when he comes out the closet. “He is scared and wants to meet people like him – he has never encountered another a gay person in his rural hometown.”
Thabang fears his father the most and viewers will learn why on Tuesday 22 August. “If his father, who is good friends with mining manager Matlala (Robert Mpisi), learns the truth about his sexuality, there will be war. Thabang’s father is traditional and wants grandchildren and a son who is macho,” explains the actor. And while we don’t see Thabang’s father for a while onscreen, we know all about him through Matlala, who lets slip that Thabang comes across as “gay”.
The youngster doesn’t like that he has to hide his sexual identity and he seeks support from a friend who lives in the township. As Pholoso explains, “He doesn’t have friends in The Deep as yet – the only person he trusts lives far away, so Thabang is very closed off right now and struggling to accept his identity.” NB! See more on p26.
Thabang is on the run in The Deep, hiding from his judgemental family.