7de Laan’s KB Motsilanyane and Tina Jaxa on working together

2019-06-28 18:53
KB Motsilanyane and Tina Jaxa. (Photo:DRUM)
KB Motsilanyane and Tina Jaxa. (Photo:DRUM)

They were both ready to pack up and leave the entertainment business for good. One had become disillusioned with acting and was looking for something else, the other was in search of a different purpose in life.

But when 7de Laan came calling they decided they couldn’t say no – and the result is that Keabetswe “KB” Motsilanyane (39) and Tina Jaxa (48) have been cast together on the small screen for the first time.

Tina plays Ruth, a domestic worker who turns out to be the biological mother of KB’s character, Lesedi. Of course, this being a soap opera there’s plenty of drama to keep lovers of the long-running SABC2 show on the edge of their seats.

Lesedi, a successful lawyer, was raised by her father, Jacob (Patrick Shai), and his wife, Dimpho. Ruth is employed by Lesedi, who becomes captivated by the older woman’s caring nature. When Jacob meets Ruth he tries to hide from Lesedi that Ruth is her real mom – and when Lesedi discovers the truth all hell breaks loose.

Tina is a new recruit to the Laan and loves working with KB. The pair first crossed professional paths in the ’90s when they shot in the same studios and “we were bound to work together”, Tina says.

“KB is something else,” she says. “She is humble, real and professional.”

KB has nothing but good things to say about her co-star too.

“Tina is crazy and fun and what you see is what you get. I learn from her and Patrick every day and I treasure every piece of advice I get from them.

“Tina inspires me to be a better actor.”

KB was longing for something new before she moved to 7de Laan but wasn’t sure what it was. “I was just tired of the entertainment industry and I thought I would never act in a soapie again,” she says.

“Being in a show every day is a long-term commitment. Your script is written for you. Your make-up is done the same way every day and you can’t change your look or hair without consulting the powers that be.

“At some point that became very tiring and I needed a change,” she says.

So she left Rhythm City after nine years but changed her mind about quitting acting when she landed the job on 7de Laan two years go.

“I just needed a change of environment. Now I look forward to going to work,” she says.

On-screen drama might be what KB’s life revolves around but she’s had plenty of behind-the-scenes upheaval too.

This includes a public breakup a few years back that became tabloid fodder for months. But that’s in the past now, KB says, and she doesn’t want to dwell on it.

“I’ve been through a lot,” she says. “I’ve learned the right to be myself and enjoy my life.”

Despite her winding journey in the romance department, she hasn’t given up on finding her Mr Right.

“I love like an idiot,” she says. “I believe in the old-school love of cooking for your husband and being nurturing.

“I’m the type that can quit their job for love. I hated that about myself before, but with me getting older I’ve learnt to accept my kind and loving heart as a strength.”

She stresses she’s more careful and admits she’s “picky” when it comes to partners.

Which is why she’s content to be single and dedicate herself to the only man in her life: her 12-year-old son, Phala.

“He teaches me a lot about myself and challenges me,” she adds. “I love kids and I love being a mom. If I could, I’d have six more children.”

 Meanwhile Tina is making some changes in her life. She hasn’t touched alcohol, meat or dairy products for two months, she says, and is “on a spiritual journey to self-actualisation”.

This comes after years of being the subject of many a tabloid story. But Tina too refuses to dredge up the bad times. She’s a changed person now and has her “peace”. And the person who has helped her find inner happiness is her spiritual teacher, Swami Vishwaparanthapananda.

“He helps to guide me when I need him,” she says.

In 2016 it was reported that Tina had a calling to be a sangoma and she doesn’t deny it.

“Oh, I still have the calling. But my journey of self-discovery and my sangoma calling are two different things,” she says. “I went for ukuthwasa (sangoma training) but I don’t practise or take any consultations.”

Like KB, Tina wanted to quit acting because she felt something was missing in her life. “I thought I had made it – I was Tina, the famous actress – but I wasn’t fulfilled.

“I had the money, I had the house, I had love, but something was just missing.”

So early last year she announced her retirement from acting after being nominated for a Safta in the best supporting actress category for her role in the drama series Isikizi.

“I left my job and I was home for nine months. I declined all jobs and interviews. I would wake up, sort my kids out, read books, eat breakfast, take a walk and try to speak to God.

“After the second week of praying and fasting, I asked God to please give me a sign and send me a spiritual leader to help me find what was missing in my life. And God sent me Swami.

“I ditched the high heels and materialistic things and searched inside to find who I truly am.

“I fell out of love with alcohol because it enhanced my emotions. If I’m happy, I’d be too happy or too sad.”

Tina has found love again but she wants to keep her new relationship under wraps.

“Just don’t be shocked when you hear I’ll be walking down the aisle,” she says, showing off a huge rock on her ring finger.

Watch this space, in other words.