Magxaki star’s rise to ‘Scandal’

Neo Bodumela

NELSON Mandela Bay’s very own national television actress Masasa Mbangeni – who plays the role of Thembeka on’s Scandal – is preparing to celebrate the soapie’s 1500th episode with her co-stars.

Mbangeni, who grew up in KwaMagxaki, will host a celebration dinner for members of the cast and media with colleague Brighton Ngoma, who plays the role of Quinton.

The landmark episode of Scandal will be broadcast on March 8 and, although she has been part of the show for three years, Mbangeni says she is still overawed by the calibre of actors with whom she works.

“This is my third year with Scandal and I still get star-struck all the time … I mean, how does one get over it?

“There are phenomenal people on the set every day and these are some of the actors I grew up watching. I get to speak to people like Nthati Moshesh.

“People wouldn’t know this, but she’s so funny and people only know her as the serious Morongwe on the show. But when we get off the set, I know that I’m going to have a laugh a minute when she’s around.”

On the character she portrays, Mbangeni said viewers had a lot to look forward to because Thembeka was about “to turn a new page”.

“With her getting the job of being in charge of the gossip section at the magazine, I think we’ll see another side of her.

“You know some people can’t handle power or they get drunk on it? Well, we’re about to see how determined she is and how she is willing to take people out to stay in her position of power.”

Mbangeni has cemented her place on Scandal’s acting roster but said the “reality of the industry I work in makes it that one is only as good as their last performance”.

“As much as I am driven and passionate and hungry to succeed, there are also thousands of other actresses who are feeling the same. That’s why I am improving my theatre [acting] and doing a radio show so that I am not just one-dimensional.”

Mbangeni said she was still “very much part of PE and would love to do something for the industry in PE”.

She said she had acted in long-running annual cabaret Showtime.

“My heart and passion and love is in theatre and I’m so grateful for what I was taught.”

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