By Xabiso Ngqabe5 January 2023
Sello Motloung delves deep into his character, Kgosi, on The Wife Season 3
In Season 3 of Showmax Original telenovela The Wife, Kgosi Lerumo Montsho is the chief of the Royal Thabang in the North West. To the public and his community, he is known as the generous and morally righteous leader, a man who fights tirelessly for the goodwill and prosperity of all his people. In private, Kgosi is a ruthlessly corrupt man who steals from his people. He is also a loving, caring yet controlling father to Naledi and Tshedi. Though he loves his daughters dearly, he will stop at nothing to get his way when it comes to controlling them, especially Naledi – his favourite daughter.
Showmax chats to veteran actor Sello Motloung, who plays this complex and dark character, to hear more of his thoughts about the villain that is Kgosi on The Wife Season 3
Why do you think the Kgosi character is an interesting one?
My character is interesting because he is the king. He’s also the father to a very beautiful princess, who is unfortunately involved with a Zulu man he does not like. But I also have another beautiful daughter played by Motsoaledi.
I also think my character is interesting because he’s a chameleon – on the one hand he’s a very loving and caring father. However, on the other side we get to see the dark side of him.
What is it about villain characters that draw you to them?
We have very interesting villains in all movies. This is another particularly interesting villain who is related to our “shero” (Naledi). I’ve always loved playing the villain in any movie or television series. They have the best lines, they always get the girls, but unfortunately in this case there are no girls to get, but villains get away with murder, if I may put it that way…
Who inspired you when working on this character?
Well, you’re putting my head on the block here because I don’t want to mention people’s names and then the next thing they come after me. But I mean, I know a lot of people, I’ve taken my character from a spectrum of people that I know personally, and others are people that I’ve seen on television, people that I’ve read about. So, it’s a whole spectrum of people. Not one particular person.
That’s a fair answer. Other than Kgosi, which character on The Wife is most interesting to you personally and why?
I think the other character that is interesting is Molefi, who is the king’s right-hand man. He is very interesting because he’s forever centered and yet you don’t know what’s going on in his mind and he’s very smart.
He listens to the king because the king is his peer, but because the king is the king, he can’t say anything against him – but we’ll soon get to see a side where Molefi has the upper hand.
Why do you think Sefako is a better suitor for Naledi?
I think Sefako is way more handsome. He’s a Motswana and he is someone Kgosi can control and he’s not as rebellious as Qhawe. So it’s better to have Sefako so Kgosi can control him.
What is it about the Tswana language and Batswana as a people that makes this season special?
I think it’s because there’s a misconception that has been out there that Batswana are laid back, they are passive and that they are people that you can step on. However, in this case we get to see they’re not people that you can play around with – we get to see the other side of the Batswana clan. For instance, I’ve based my character specifically on one person. He’s a guy that I know very well, he’s a Motswana and he is very hectic, if I may put it that way.
And of course, Setswana as a culture, it’s very rich. If you read the history of Basotho mixed with Setswana and Sepedi, how they have interacted throughout history, you’ll see that there’s quite a lot of richness there.
Speaking of language, who are the people that assisted you in preparing and ensuring that your Setswana is close to perfect?
I have several resources and people who have been of great help. One of those people is Marcello Montana Pitsi – he is our cultural advisor in the language and our translator.
There is also Tebogo Langa, a teacher in the North West. She’s also one of the people that I interact with, along with the friends I communicate with; we play around with the language. So really, there’s a vast number of people that I go to, to bounce ideas off when it comes to the language.
New episodes of The Wife Season 3 are already streaming on Showmax, with new episodes landing every Thursday.