Actress Michelle Mosalakae’s debut role as the prophetess Zakithi on Isibaya caught the attention of many viewers and instantly made her a household favourite. Now, she has viewers talking once again with her new role on Mzanzi Magic’s The Queen.
Michelle plays a Congolese woman by the name of Kamina who hails from the South Kivu Province in the DRC and was the first true love of Kagiso Khoza (played by Loyiso McDonald). The two met in Kamina’s home country where Kagiso was deployed as a soldier.
DRUM caught up with the actress to find out how playing the French-speaking Kamina really is.
1. Did you have to learn French to play Kamina or have you always been fluent in the language?
I learned a bit of French during high school. I wouldn’t say I’m fluent but my French is at an intermediate level. I did get myself a Congolese translator to assist me with scripts in the preparation process. However, I have always been proficient in languages. I am able to pick up on languages and the various accents and dialects with sufficient practise.
2. What are some of the challenges (if there are any) you have encountered while playing the role of Kamina?
Playing Kamina has been extremely fulfilling because it is extremely challenging. She is very different from who I am and anyone I know. I had to do a lot of research about the DRC and the environment she would have grown up in and would have been exposed to and how that would then influence the way in which someone like her handles life and thinks about certain things. It was a very demanding role because it required constant research in order for me to make her as believable as possible.
3. How is the role Kamina different from your previous role of Zakithi on Isibaya?
There are many differences between Kamina and Zakithi. The obvious ones being that Kamina is French-Congolese whereas Zakithi is Tswana. Kamina has a completely different background and her environment was also in juxtaposition to Zakithi’s. Zakithi wasn’t looking for anyone to help or save her but Kamina has actively been searching for help. Having a child also draws differences between the two women – Kamina has a different kind of maturity and sensibility because of Jean-Pierre than Zakithi.
The similarities are very present too. These two women have had to overcome a lot of pain, their lives have been filled with extreme challenges and obstacles that have shaped them and at times broken them. That’s where it all starts for these women, but their lives are very different as the story progresses. I love playing roles like that where the character has to constantly overcome obstacles and challenges, it’s real and relatable.