Sello Sebotsane: A gentle giant still hungry

Thu Jun 30 12:15:44 SAST 2016

2016-06-30 09:10:46.0 |
Somaya Stockenstroom |

Actor Sello Sebotsane is the epitome of the Rockville character he plays: Rre Moruti.

Picture credit: Mabuti Kali

Soft, humble and gentle as a lamb. But he disagrees and wishes he were half the man of the role he plays.

He finally returns to our screens next week for another riveting season.

Will he finally shack up with Miss May (Connie Ferguson), whom he has loved and been patient with since the first season … he says to watch this space.

“Rre Moruti in Rockville is a pillar of the society and hopefully one day will marry Mavis. I wish I had his resilience as a man and his patience. But, like him, I laugh a lot,” says the modest Sebotsane.

The famous series, created by Shona and Connie Ferguson, contrasts the worlds of northern Joburg with the adrenaline-filled, bustling streets of Soweto.

M-Net’s head of drama, Reneilwe Sema, commented on what’s in store for viewers: “The theme this season is ‘journeys to redemption’. Mavis tries to redeem broken family bonds, while JB, who has lost everything, is desperate to reconnect with loved ones in the midst of startling historic revelations.”

A first for Rockville, this season also tackles a pertinent socio-economic issue that is currently topical in South Africa – that of teenagers dating older, married men.

“This season is set apart from previous editions in that we now have two main villains, whose paths eventually cross – making for some intense clashes,” Sema added.

Sebotsane says he too can’t wait for the series to air. About being a father outside and off camera, he says were it not because of his own dad, he would not be the person he is today.

Asked about Father’s Day celebrations last week, the actor quickly points out that “I don’t believe in Father’s Day. I am a father everyday. My father was strict but loving and I am thankful for that. He taught me that it is a lifetime job. I have two girls age nine and six and try to practise his principles,” he says.

The 45-year-old says he loves his job the same as when he started.

“It’s a calling for me and staying relevant in my industry is about hard working and also willing to learn new things.”

He says he first got into acting in the mid-1980s.

“There were a lot of strikes and unrest in the townships. My parents decided to take me to a private school, Maxstibe, just 15km outside Mamelodi. That’s where my mind was opened up to new subjects like criminology, art of all sorts and drama. I did drama and music which made me happy,” he says.

He then furthered his acting training at the then Technikon Pretoria and later received his National Diploma in Speech and Drama from the Tshwane University of Technology .

His acting resume runs long and he says he has too many people to thank for his journey. “If I had to name them, the list won’t end,” he jokes.

His list of TV appearances is also so long that he fails to pick a favourite series or film. “I’ve done so much, everything I’ve done is highlight for me as it contributed to my growth.”

He says he is probably best known for the role as Philane, a sensitive rugby player, in the SABC2 sitcom Stokvel that ran between 2006 and 2012.

He also starred as “The General” Letswalo, an incompetent security guard stuck in the struggle years, in the SABC2 sitcom Home Sweet Home, in 2011. He joined the cast of the SABC2 parliamentary drama series 90 Plein Street in 2011, in the starring role of George Motha.

Other television series he has acted in include Erfsondes, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Isidingo, Backstage, Scandal and a whole lot more.

Sello has also acted in a number of feature films, including Jock of the Bushveld, Panic Mechanic, Tarzan and Ernest Goes to Africa.

His theatre resume includes such productions as Scribble at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre (directed by Jervis Pennington), Happy Natives at the Grahamstown Arts Festival (for which he received the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actor) and the Market Theatre productions of Cold Stone Jug, Sophiatown, Gugi Mzimba: The Spirit of Gerard Sekoto and The Amen Corner.

Sebotsane says though that when it comes to his trade he is his most difficult critic. “I love good acting. But I am always competing with myself, trying to be better than my last role. The legacy I want to leave behind is that I did things my way. I never want to be anybody or like anyone else,” he says.

What most don’t know about this gentle soul is that, unlike most black men his age, he loves swimming. “I love being by the sea. I love water so much it is even my favourite drink,” he says.

Sebotsane says his biography has not reached it’s completion yet as he still has so much he wants to do in life.

“Durban and Mpumalanga are my favourite places to visit when not working. But I would love to visit our continent more. Also, when it comes to my craft, there’s still a lot more I’d like to do.”

Rockville season 4 premieres on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) on Sunday, 10 July at 8PM.


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