Youth Day spotlight: Mzansi’s young stars

14 June 2024
See how they are overcoming industry hurdles
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This weekend, Mzansi is celebrating Youth Day, a day synonymous with youth empowerment and freedom. With more career paths open for young people and multiple platforms to showcase their talent, we spotlight some young television personalities who share their journey in the entertainment industry. Here’s what they had to say about overcoming hurdles and navigating the ups and downs of being on television:

Tadeus Mbatha (Ntokozo on Ha Molefi, Mzansi Magic)

“I’ve always had a natural inspiration for entertainment. My breakthrough role was on BET’s Queendom. It was a wonderful experience where I learned so much from everyone. Now, with my next role on Ha Molefi, I look forward to applying what I’ve learned. As I’m just starting in the industry, I haven’t faced many challenges yet, but I understand that everything has its challenges. That’s why I’m constantly reading and having conversations about the industry.”

TJ Mokhuane (Thabang on Ha Molefi, Mzansi Magic)

“My breakout role was Tshepo on The River. Coming from the North West with no arts education and landing a role on one of the biggest shows in the country was surreal. One hard lesson I learned is that TV roles come in seasons. Financial literacy is crucial because you can go months without a job. I wish I had known how to save and manage my finances better when I started.”

Sibonelo “Chicken” Mhlongo (KwaNjomane, Mzansi Wethu)

“I’ve faced emotional abuse on social media and have had financial struggles because people think TV personalities have lots of money. I’ve learned to be comfortable sharing my story, setting boundaries, and overcoming financial struggles. Loving myself and not seeking validation from strangers has been crucial. I remain the strongest Sibonelo Chicken Mhlongo!” 💪🏾

Masutang Raseleke (Dzugudini on Queen Modjadji, Mzansi Magic)

“I’ve realised that skilling myself beyond entertainment is essential in this competitive market. Time management, networking, and balancing personal life and health are vital. My support system of family, friends, and mentors rejuvenates and grounds me, especially when dealing with the ups and downs of the industry.”

Wiseman Zitha (Mamaila on Queen Modjadji, Mzansi Magic)

“My eye-opener was not saving after my first production. Since then, I’ve become smart financially. Our industry is unpredictable, so learning to save and balance finances has been a crucial lesson.”

Tsepo Doncabe (Sangweni on Sibongile & the Dlaminis, Mzansi Wethu)

“Starting as a young actor with little experience was tough. Fame brought challenges like overwhelming public attention and competition. However, portraying Sangweni has been a unique experience. Despite the pressure, I’m committed to bringing my best to each scene and navigating the industry's pitfalls.”

Dimpho Mokgota (Super Culture, Channel O)

“I was bullied for my voice in primary school. My dad told me it was an asset. I got into radio by chance and then TV with Super Culture. The biggest struggle is dealing with rejection. Understanding that it’s not personal and staying true to my lane has helped me navigate the ups and downs. Hard work and honing my craft are key.”

Mpilo Zungu (Izingane zeS’thembu, Mzansi Magic)

“Navigating reality TV with social anxiety has been challenging. Being in the public eye and managing social interactions can be overwhelming. However, with support from mental health professionals, setting boundaries, and a strong support system, I’ve managed to enjoy the industry while coping with anxiety.”

This Youth Day, we celebrate these young stars who continue to inspire and pave the way in the entertainment industry. Their stories remind us that persistence, support, and resilience are key to overcoming challenges and achieving success.

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