By Xabiso Ngqabe20 September 2023
“Showmax changed my life”- Lehlohonolo Mayeza of Outlaws
Currently starring as Leruo Ts’eole in the hit new Showmax Original Outlaws, Lehlohonolo Mayeza is the Mosotho hunk that television viewers have been waiting for.
From Tshedza Pictures (Adulting, The River, The Republic), the modern-day Western tells the story of two families at war with each other: the Zulu, cattle-farming Biyela clan and the Basotho, cattle-raiding Ts’eoles.
Watch the trailer for Outlaws
We sat down with Lehlohonolo to find out more about his breakthrough role.
How would you describe your character ?
Leruo is a Mosotho man in his early 30s. He does not know much about urban life, for he has been raised in the mountains of Lesotho, where his late father left him a legacy to keep. His ruling order of the day is to steal Zulu cattle but still keep in mind not to kill or hurt people.
Do you relate to Leruo’s story in Outlaws?
I do. I am a rural boy from the mountainous areas of Lesotho, who is used to riding horses and donkeys for they are the only means of transport there. I grew up in rural areas, where people would steal cattle from Zulu land. I know that story and have seen it with my own eyes, for I used to herd animals where we were living, which was near the borders of the two countries.
What do you think the viewers will like or hate about your character?
I don’t think Zulu people are going to like my character, particularly the ones who are victims of cattle theft. In the story, Leruo brings so much heartbreak, despite all the chances he gets. I think viewers are not going to like that part. Contrarily Leruo can show love. Some are going to like that side of him.
Tell us about the chemistry between Leruo and Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku’s character, Sihle?
The first time Leruo saw Sihle, everything changed. She gave him goosebumps. Leruo was not that much into girls, but when he met Sihle, something changed in him. Sihle in the first place played hard to get because they are from two different countries. But when you look at them, there is something special.
I really enjoyed working with Nirvana; she is such an amazing actress. We would smile and laugh the whole day on set and would crack some jokes with our characters.
Who were you most excited to work with on Outlaws?
Working with legends, people I used to see on big screens, role models, has been an honour. I was excited to work with everyone, for it was my first time working with all of them. I learned a lot from each and every one of them. The greatest of them all was getting to work with M’e Lillian Dube, Ntate Khotso Nkhatho and M’e Mmabatho Mogomotsi. It was such a blessing.
What did you do for the first time on the set of Outlaws?
Actually, it was my first experience to be on such a huge set, especially in another country. Handling guns and fighting stunts was a first as well.
What was the most difficult part of filming?
Sex scenes! But the intimacy coordinator helped and things went well.
What does it mean for you to be starring in a Showmax Original?
Every time I get to this point, words seem not to find their way out for me to express my gratitude. Showmax changed my life for the better. My dream came true. I have always wanted to be on screen and show my talent and now I am starring in a Showmax Original. This is a breakthrough for me. It’s like I’m waiting to wake up and have someone tell me that it was just a beautiful dream, but it’s actually not a dream, it’s a reality.
Why should viewers watch Outlaws?
This is the only show of its kind in South Africa; it’s the only modern-day South African Western. The feel of the show is totally different from other epic dramas. It involves two beautiful nations, Zulus and Sothos. It’s one of a kind, set in beautiful locations. It’s a must-watch.
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