Cape Town - South African actress and singer Mohau Mokoatle has joined the cast of the MTV Shuga 4.
In its fourth season the sizzling sex and relationships drama is a long-running pro-social campaign developed by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and MTV Base.
The series carries important public health messaging aimed at a young audience.
Mohau is the first South African female actress to star on Shuga, following in Tumisho Masha and Lupita N’yongo's footsteps.
We had a quick chat with Mohau about her first acting gig, her character and what it’s like working on the hit show.
Channel24:Will you tell us a bit more your character and what attracted you to the role?
Mohau: I play Bonnie, a 16-year-old South African girl who has been living in Lagos with her parents for a year. She’s a very smart girl. The most important thing about her is that she is a loyal friend to Mary who finds herself in a sticky situation. What attracted me to the role is that she can sing. I have always wanted to explore my music career.
Channel24:What’s it like playing a teenager in school again?
Mohau:It was challenging. I was in varsity not too long ago and I was reasoning like a 24-year-old. When we got to Lagos I had an opportunity to speak to a group of teenage girls and talk about issues that are addressed in the story. It was good research for me. It helped me a lot with character building. Speaking to the girls made it easier to adjust my thinking and to get into character.
Channel24:Do you find that teens today are facing different challenges than what you did when you were at school?
Mohau:Yes, definitely. A lot of things that were taboo when I was younger are acceptable with them. Some of the things that teen girls are doing today was scary to me back in the day. I’d be scared to go out with an older man. They ask for advice on having sex with their sugar daddies.
Channel24:What have you enjoyed most about working on the series and what was it like filming in Lagos?
Mohau:It was my first professional gig after school. It was a big learning experience for me. I learnt so much from Ghanian actor, Chris Attoh. Seeing the other actors commit themselves and making use of their talent was very inspiring. It made me realise that this is what I really want to do. At the same time it was a bit nerve wrecking because it was my first major job. I had never worked on a set before so I was always conscious of what I was doing. I didn’t want to represent my country in a negative light.
Channel24What has been the highlight working on the series?
Mohau:Walking the red carpet at the premiere in Lagos was one of the most memorable experiences. It was amazing being a ‘star’ for the moment. It was a dream come true for me.
Channel24:The show explores serious themes, has there been any particular theme/scene that has been difficult for you?
Mohau:Not really, during the conversations we had with the girls I asked them questions that related to my story. My character is more a supporting role to a friend. There wasn’t anything hectic involving my character.
Channel24:Do you have any other future projects in the works and will you be back on Shuga for another season?
Mohau:Not yet. Right now I am working on my craft. My character will be back for another season.
Watch a teaser here:
Tune in to Shuga 4 on MTV Base (DStv 322) Sundays at 22:00 (repeats Monday at 22:30).
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