Thapelo Mokoena, 32, Actor, Producer…In a nutshell a filmmaker.
You’re part of the Ayeye cast, tell us what the new drama series is about…in one sentence.
Ayeye is a coming of age story about 3 friends (‘brothers’) and the trials and tribulations along their way towards achieving their dream of being the hottest crew in advertising.
Ayeye has since received a lotta love from young South Africans, it speaks to them. Did you expect such love from Mzansi viewers?
It’s amazing how much the show has resonated with our audiences. I knew from the first time I read the script that this would be a special project. I choose my work carefully, and there was no doubt in my mind that this show would be a HIT. Thank God it has worked out beautifully so far.
Was it easy hooking up this dope cast?
I can’t take credit for the casting at all. Bombshelter is known for their great TV work, and I feel like one of the things they don’t take chances on is getting the right people for the job.
We love how South African Hip-Hop plays a major role in the drama series, is keeping all aspects ‘Proudly South African’ on the show important to you?
As an actor, lover of the arts and overall creative, it has been a long time coming. MY own projects at Easy Sundays Productions have been treated that way from way back. It’s the only we can truly touch our targeted audiences. It’s a no brainier really. We are AFRICAN! #Amandla!!
While we’re on that Hip-Hop tip, tell us who’s music you are currently bumping on repeat in your whip?
I am bumping ZEAL and Skhanda Republic at the moment. I can’t wait to jump on that Proverb & Riky Rick album.
Any more exciting projects for Thapelo this year that we should know about?
Yeah, as always it’s important to keep it moving. No time to really bask in the glory. We open a great film project in cinemas soon. It’s a movie called GOLDEN HIGHWAY. Starring Dineo Moeketsi, Robert Whitehead, Lehasa Moloi & Thando Thabethe just to name a few. We are working on Season 2 of my home make-over show SINAWE 72 on E-TV as well.
Growing and moving the film culture is something I am truly passionate about. I am founder of a great outdoor mobile cinema business called KASI MOVIE NIGHTS (@kasimovienights), which is an outdoor mobile cinema that takes movies back to the people. A very cool and refreshing cinema lifestyle experience. In fact, we are about to screen Spoek Mathambo and Lebo Rasetsaba’s Future Sound of Mzansi at the Soweto Theatre.
I am also going into bigger TV productions as well this year so I am excited to be putting more of my creations. I am a work in progress and so is my work.
Your work speaks for itself, what keeps you going each day?
I am a believer in DREAMS. I am from a very small town where people don’t get to break through as often as they should. My parents fought hard to give us a competitive advantage in life. It is my responsibility not to spit on that and carry on the tradition. Life would be quiet boring if things stayed the same, I am out to become the best measure of a man I can be, in all aspects of my life. Learning through my mistakes and growing constantly.
Your secret weapon in life is?
DO whatever you want to do in LIFE; just DON’T hurt God’s people. The universe will see you back for your positive contribution in LIFE.
Some advice for upcoming youngsters that wanna be in the film/acting industry.
There is no conventional way to reaching your dreams. Get your education; it will give you the confidence to stand amongst the great. Take care of your MIND; it is truly the most valuable part of your body. And if you don’t see it in your mind (DREAMING), it’s going to be hard to see it in physical. So keep DREAMING.