Despite being a 27-year-old actor playing the role of a teenager on Rhythm City‚ Mapula Mafole has admitted that her character has taught her many valuable lessons about life she probably wouldn’t learnt.
The fresh-faced actress said that her 17-year-old character has changed her outlook on life.
“I’m 27-years old but I have learnt so much from the teenager I play‚ a fictional character. She has made me see things so differently. I spent a lot of time being her and there’s no way I could not change.”
Mapula’s character‚ also named Mapula‚ is a teenager taking care of her siblings because they are orphaned.
“She’s an abandoned child who feels rejected all the time. Sabelo (her cousin) also comes along and takes her in with his younger siblings. The pair become each other’s support system but more often than not‚ it’s Mapula who has to fend for the family.”
The actress explained that although both her parents were still alive‚ she empathised deeply with her character because her parents also left her with her siblings at the age of 10.
They both went abroad for work purposes and Mapula said she would never compare the pain to that of orphaned children. However‚ because of that experience‚ she can appreciate just how strong her teenage character is and learnt resilience from her.
“She’s shown me another side of life and has helped me grow. She is significantly younger than me‚ but I think she is way stronger than me. She’s definitely more resilient than I am‚ but those things have rubbed up on me. Life keeps getting harder for her‚ yet she still gets up and tries again. She does it not only for herself‚ but for her family.”
Mapula said she hoped to get involved in projects that focused on assisting child-headed homes.
“I am opening myself up‚ in terms of time‚ to the idea of helping in whatever way I can‚ because acting as Mapula has really opened my eyes to the change that one person can bring in a family like hers. I don’t know exactly how to lend a hand‚ but I am hoping to partner with people that do so we can figure it out together.”