Com­edy: Rented Fam­ily & Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous

Al­ways-smiling Mutodi Neshehe has swapped soapie screens for the drama-filled sec­ond sea­son of Mamello.

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Ev­ery­thing is in sham­bles on drama show Mamello (2016- cur­rent) af­ter the mid-sea­son fire left the high school in flames. The teach­ers have no sup­plies or class­rooms and the stu­dents have no text­books or desks. Plus, gos­sip is spread­ing far and wide about scan­dals at the school. To fix this mess, the Depart­ment Of Ed­u­ca­tion has sent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to town – shady Amos (Mutodi Neshehe), who will be of­fer­ing his ex­per­tise in re­build­ing the school from the ground up. “Amos comes across as a car­ing guy. He prom­ises to clean up Mamello High School, but he is ac­tu­ally there for his per­sonal gains,” ex­plains Mutodi, who was last seen as Zola on Gen­er­a­tions – The Legacy (2014- cur­rent). Amos’s plan in­cludes se­duc­ing school prin­ci­pal Keneilwe (Tsholo Mat­shaba, Meme in Mu­vhango, 1997- cur­rent) away from her good-guy teacher boyfriend Pa­trick (Jude Tshi­sevhe, Rudzani on Mu­vhango). “Amos is good with words and he knows ex­actly what to say,” teases Mutodi.


“While de­vel­op­ing Amos, I chan­nelled sleazy politi­cians who lie to get ahead in the world. I stud­ied them to get into Amos’s head and how to push peo­ple off the edge,” says the 42-year- old. And he adds that 2017 has been a push for his ca­reer. Af­ter busi­ness­man Zola’s hor­rific car- crash death on Gen­er­a­tions, Mutodi was cast on two other shows. He played druglord Mandla on drama se­ries Har­vest (2017- cur­rent) as well as up­tight en­tre­pre­neur Rendi on soap Bro­ken Vows (2017- cur­rent). “I’m al­ways busy. My days are al­ways hec­tic and at the mo­ment, I’m work­ing on a few projects that will be ready in a few months,” re­veals Mutodi.


While he’s not a fan of vil­lain­ous roles, the ac­tor is lov­ing his Amos char­ac­ter. “He walks into Keneilwe’s of­fice with plans to tackle is­sues like stu­dent preg­nancy, drug abuse and sex­ual as­sault, but it’s just a way to blind­side his love in­ter­est,” ex­plains Mutodi. While Pa­trick can see through his tricks, Amos knows how to fake it ’til he makes it. “He won’t let Pa­trick get to him. He’s like Ndalamo [Mutodi’s busi­ness­man char­ac­ter on Mu­vhango]. He knows how to get what he wants.”

Some­thing Mutodi wanted was a fall-back in case act­ing didn’t work out. The Soweto-born star com­pleted high school and stud­ied busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion in the US be­fore re­turn­ing to SA in the mid-’90s. “Act­ing is my first love and I am a per­fec­tion­ist. If I’m not at au­di­tions, I’m ei­ther mem­o­ris­ing my lines, do­ing re­search or act­ing out dif­fer­ent sto­ry­lines,” he laughs.


Amos’s ma­nip­u­la­tion is ce­mented on Wednesday 20 Septem­ber when Pa­trick and Keneilwe get into a heated ar­gu­ment. “Ev­ery­thing is on the line when they fight and Amos is at the cen­tre of it,” says Mutodi. But while his char­ac­ter loves the on­screen drama, Mutodi re­veals that he’s got another rea­son to en­joy his job: he gets to work with his “brother”. “Jude and I have known each other for years. We have an ab­so­lute blast. We worked to­gether on Mu­vhango and you could call us al­most broth­ers,” says Mutodi. “We do play around a lot dur­ing takes and crack jokes, but when the clap­per­board snaps shut, we’re pro­fes­sional and we work.”

And work­ing is what Amos is do­ing for the fore­see­able fu­ture: “He walks in at the right time. He’s job is to fix things but he’s ru­in­ing it ev­ery­thing and drag­ging ev­ery­one one with him, one step at a time,” says Mutodi.

Mutodi Neshehe makes be­ing bad look good.

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