Scandal!’s Mikateko Hlabangwane admits juggling high school and being on TV was hard
Mikateko Hlabangwane. (Photo: Move!)
SHE’S a bubbly young woman who’s spent most
of her teenage years in front of cameras, but away from the spotlight, actress
Mikateko Hlabangwane (19), who plays Mary Masangwanyi in Scandal!, lives like
any ordinary teenager. The teen from Centurion has mastered juggling university
and a busy acting schedule.
Mikateko joined the soapie in 2014 when she
was only 15. She’s always loved acting, but it was a school teacher who helped
her realise her dream when she saw how talented she was, Mikateko tells Move!.
The teacher helped the actress join an
acting agency and it wasn’t long before she got the role as Mary. Mikateko can
face the pressure of studying and acting because her family and Scandal!
colleagues have been supportive.
“Juggling acting and my school work is really
tough, but I believe if you genuinely love something you find it in you to make
it work. It’s just all about prioritising and at this point, my school work is
my priority,” she says.
WHAT A SCANDAL!
She’s Mary’s polar opposite, Mikateko says.
Mary is shy and nerdy while Mikateko is more outgoing. “Mary is smart and
hardworking – sometimes I wish I was as smart as her. I feel like she’s a very uptight
person and unrealistic though,” the engineering student says.
Something she has in common with Mary is
their view on men. “Just as Mary is always so concerned whether the person who
wants to date her is serious or just full of games, I also wouldn’t want to be
in a relationship unless it’s serious.”
Mikateko wants to follow in her aunt
Kurisani Mashele’s footsteps. She’s also an engineer. “I have always looked up
to my aunt – she is doing so well in life and puts God in everything she does.”
DOING IT ON YOUR OWN
Playing Mary has taught her a lot, Mikateko
says. Fans will recall that in the show Mary is a hostess at a club and wanted
the job so she could meet high-profile people.
But she got more than she bargained for
when she was publicly humiliated after a video of her being intimate with a
married man went viral. She tried to commit suicide as a result. The storyline taught
her many things, including the realisation that nothing in life comes easy,
“Girls compromise themselves for the sake
of money. A lot of girls need to love and value themselves enough so they don’t
end up choosing paths that will lead to their own downfall,” she says. “Girls
must stop depending on men. Selling yourself off just so you can get money
won’t get you anywhere in life. Just prioritise education.”