Comedy: Rented Family & Absolutely Fabulous
Always-smiling Mutodi Neshehe has swapped soapie screens for the drama-filled second season of Mamello.
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.
CHOOSE YOUR WORDS
“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 e.tv drama series Harvest (2017- current) as well as uptight entrepreneur Rendi on e.tv 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.
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE
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.
BUSINESS & PLEASURE
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.