Tsholo Matshaba talks about her role in Die Onderonsie and her love for comedy

By Xabiso Ngqabe1 December 2023

Tsholo Matshaba talks about her role in Die Onderonsie and her love for comedy

In Die Onderonsie, five ex band-mates come together for their annual reunion, but a dead body stirs up suspicion and violence among the friends. With tjommies like these, who needs enemies?

The debut feature film from multi-award winner Philip Nolte (2023 SAFTA winner Sex in Afrikaans, Silwerskerm award winner Vossie Vergas Homself), the dark comedy co-stars SAFTA nominee Simoné Pretorius (Hotel), Binnelanders stars Pietie Beyers and Lindsey Cele, and Getroud Met Rugby stars Adrian Steyn and former Mister World South Africa Sean van Noordwyk. Also look out for 2023 Royalty Soapie Awards nominee Tsholofelo Matshaba (Kedibone in The River) as Detective Mahlangu and David James (Colonel Koobus Venter in District 9) as Thys. 

Watch the trailer for Die Onderonsie

Die Onderonsie is produced by multi-award winners Red Pepper, the production company behind Black Reel nominee Vaya, Africa Movie Academy Awards winner Tell Me Sweet Something, and SAFTA winners Faan Se Trein and Hard To Get.

Celebrated for her stellar performances in hit TV series such as The River, The Throne, and Rockville, Tsholofelo Matshaba has consistently delivered captivating performances, earning her a prestigious SAFTA award and a 2023 Royalty Soapie Awards nomination. In the film Die Onderonsie, she takes on the role of Detective Mahlangu, bringing her unique touch to this dark comedy, now streaming on Showmax.

Embracing Afrikaans and comedy

For Tsholofelo Matshaba, featuring in an Afrikaans film was not just a professional endeavour but a personal joy as well. Despite not having lines in Afrikaans, she embraced the opportunity to be in an Afrikaans film. In her own words, “I love languages and Afrikaans is actually one of my favourite languages, so whenever the opportunity arrives I will grab it with both hands. Although I didn’t get to speak it, it was just as fulfilling,” shares Tsholo.

Tsholofelo Matshaba as Detective Mahlangu and David James as Thys in Die Onderonsie

Upon receiving the script for Die Onderonsie, her initial reaction was a mixture of excitement and intrigue. The fact that the film was in Afrikaans piqued her interest, and the inclusion of comedy sealed the deal. She states, “First I thought, Afrikaans! Yes. Second, comedy, definitely doing it.” This enthusiasm showcases her willingness to explore different genres and languages, which reflects a commitment to breaking barriers in the entertainment industry.

Becoming Detective Mahlangu

Immersing herself in the character of Detective Mahlangu, Tsholo found the character’s rigidity fascinating, describing her as “stiff as whiskey.” She used her love for the genre to inform her portrayal of the character. “The preparation involved binge-watching cop dramas which I enjoy a lot.”

Working with Philip Note 

Die Onderonsie is directed by Philip Nolte, 2023 SAFTA winner for Sex in Afrikaans, and Silwerskerm award winner for Vossie Vergas Homself. Tsholo praises Nolte’s approach and the collaborative synergy: “Working with Phillip was absolutely amazing. He is so much fun, knows exactly what he wants, and is able to get you to perform at your best.” 

On why viewers should watch Die Onderonsie

Tsholo expresses excitement for viewers to experience the film’s exploration of these universal themes, providing both comedic relief and a poignant message about the importance of love and loyalty. “Die Onderonsie is not just a dark comedy; it explores themes of friendship, trust, and love.”

Die Onderonsie on Showmax

Evolving in every role

With an illustrious career spanning roles in popular South African shows, Tsholo credits her ability to evolve with each role to a mysterious “family secret.” This enigmatic response only adds to the allure of an actress who consistently brings depth and authenticity to all her characters.

Watch Die Onderonsie, now streaming on Showmax.

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