Moipone ‘Queen Bey’ Molopo played by Makgotso M

1 November 2018

Moipone ‘Queen Bey’ Molopo played by Makgotso M

In Showmax Original The Girl From St Agnes, the staff and students of a private girls’ school in the Midlands are torn apart by the mysterious death of popular student Lexi Summerveld. As the facts start to emerge, it seems like everyone has something to hide.

Every school needs a troublemaker, and Moipone is very proud to wear that label. Her father is the leader of a small but vocal opposition party whose politics ruffles the feathers of most of the privileged St Agnes parents, and Moipone follows in his footsteps, protesting social injustice wherever she sees it. She’s led a protest against hair rules, campaigned for vernacular church services and against the way history was being taught.

Lexi played the status quo to her advantage; Moipone was always trying to upend it. They should have been mortal enemies, but in secret, they formed an alliance, an understanding. They shared secrets – secrets that could shed light on what happened to Lexi. But no one knows to ask Moipone, and she isn’t telling.

About the actress

With over 330k followers across her social media accounts, Makgotso M is one of the most popular actresses of her generation in South Africa. She made her name in two of the country’s biggest soap operas, as the rebellious Kamogelo Tsotetsi on Isidingo and the crazy Onika on Muvhango, and has also starred in Is’Thunzi, Mzansi Magic’s teen drama.

She was born in Joburg, but moved to England when she was 11. She discovered a talent for performing (but not singing!) at a young age, attending the National Youth Theatre and studying theatre and film in London. “My love for acting grows and grows,” she says. “You see the impact you have on people when you perform; it’s great.”

The role

Makgotso wanted to be involved in St Agnes because of the important issues it raises. “I love the fact that The Girl From St Agnes raises awareness on rape culture. I think we need to start talking about that. Working on this, I realised how important it is to reach out to young teens across the board. Rape is not a racial thing and it’s not a class thing. […] Even in private schools, these discussions need to be had.

“Moipone presents as someone very hard, but she’s not just one thing. We are all very complicated and we all have different layers, so you get to see hers. We don’t share the same sentiments, but I love the way Moipone is unapologetic about who she is.”

The storyline resonated with Makgotso. “High school for me was horrible; I had a hard time. I got bullied and picked on. I went to a predominantly white school and was teased for my big lips and my accent. I was very secluded.”

Makgotso says she can’t wait for the world to see the show. “The Girl from St Agnes is a fantastic production all round; the production quality is out of this world. It’s great television and shows what South Africa is capable of. We are just as good as Hollywood; I really think this project will showcase that.”

On set

The scene where Moipone grieves for her secret best friend was super challenging for Moipone. “No one knows they’re friends in school. She’s a black girl and only friends with black girls but what do you know: her best friend is actually this white girl who got murdered. When people watch that scene, I want them to feel her pain and relate to it. I’ve experienced a death in the family; it’s horrible. I wanted to treat that with care.”

Working with Nina Milner was a highlight or her. “I really loved being around her and her energy. [… Kate] is so complex and I feel like they chose the perfect person for it. And working with Robert Hobbs, who plays Gary. Yoh, this guy is amazing.”

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