- Mzansi actress Shoki Mmola and actor Putla Sehlapelo, opened up about their onscreen roles and career in the entertainment industry
- They have known each other for many years and played a married couple twice on two different shows
- Although the pair play an evil couple on SABC 1's Skeem Saam, their off-screen characteristics are the total opposite in reality
Skeem Saam couple, Shoki Mmola and Putla Sehlapelo, are a power couple onscreen and would stop at nothing to get what they want. But in reality, they are friends who love working with each other.
Shoki (42) plays Celia and Putla (49) plays Magongwa on the SABC1 soapie, Skeem Saam. They have worked on the soapie for 7 years already entertaining viewers with their character’s evil ways.
The pair first met in Pretoria many years ago while Shoki was studying drama at the Pretoria Technikon (now Tshwane University of Technology) and Putla was at the University of Pretoria, also studying drama.
“We later met on different sets but only worked together in 2010, on the TV drama, ‘Death of a Queen’,” said Putla.
They played husband and wife on ‘Death of a Queen’, 10 years ago. Shoki played the evil Grace Lerothrodi, the wife of king Maloro, who was played by Putla. That’s when their friendship really grew.
Putla admitted that Shoki often praised him for working on a scene together but he never said it back because he knew she was that good.
“I don’t say it back because she’s that good. I don’t have to tell her all the time. She knows,” said Putla.
Putla has been in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years and simply loves acting.
“I love that I don’t have to bring a skaftin (lunchbox) to work because I am well fed at work. I don’t need to iron my clothes and groom myself. I show up and someone tells me what to wear and makes me look the way they want me to look,” said Putla.
Shoki has been a regular on Mzansi screens for 25 years. But according to Channel24, she revealed to Move! magazine that it all happened by chance.
“Not long after completing my chemical engineering degree in 1997, I met veteran actress, Lillian Dube on my way home in the Johannesburg CBD. She asked me if I was a model or actress, and if I could speak Setswana. I answered ‘no’ to all her questions.
“She informed me about a new drama, Kgatelopele that was coming up and encouraged me to audition. I went to the SABC, learnt my lines and I was in. I never looked back. I love acting and I love applause,” said Shoki.
The actress said she learnt as much as she could, as well as got a degree in drama at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2000.
“I have seen many come in and fall out of this business and I’m grateful it hasn’t happened to me.”
Shoki believes that her accountability, dependability and professionalism that she brought to her work contributed to her staying power in the industry through the years.
“I have to remember this is a job that feeds me and takes my kids to school.
In 2017, Shoki made public the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of her then husband, actor Sello Sebotsane. She had been married to Sello for 10 years before they parted ways. Shoki believes it was therapy and Putla’s support that helped her cope through the difficult time.
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