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‘I am not Maria, I’m just playing the character’ —Thato Mashifane on being confused with his TikTok persona

‘You never see Tyler Perry being Madea every day’

Thato Joseph Mashifane in character as the cold and nosy neighbourhood witch, Sis Maria.
Thato Joseph Mashifane in character as the cold and nosy neighbourhood witch, Sis Maria.
Image: TikTok

Fans of Sis Maria on TikTok have been struggling to separate Thato Joseph Mashifane's online character from his own and he's had enough. 

The viral social media sensation who portrays a cold and nosy witch who harasses and bullies his neighbour garnered more than a million followers, but says fans should understand he has more to give. 

Thato went live on TikTok on Thursday to express his grievances, saying he had people coming to his house expecting him to be dressed up as his character and to perform.  

"It's not fair because I am not that, and for me to reply badly or say I cannot take pictures or cannot do one, two, three, I turn out to be a bad person because I need to rest. As much as you guys are supporting me I appreciate it. I don't know what I would do without your support but it's too much. It's too much how other people treat me like I am not myself. I have to be Maria every day whether I like it or not and that's not possible. You never see Tyler Perry being Madea every day," he said. 

Before fame, Thato attempted to pursue a career in music after losing his job as a security guard. But while waiting to be discovered, his social media career made him famous.

Thato said he had received criticism when showcasing his music skills but he wanted people to understand he is an artist first before he is a social media sensation. 

"I've never been on stage as myself. I understand that because the time has not yet arrived. So I posted my video and there were so many people criticising and saying I have to stick to Maria otherwise I'm going to lose followers.

"I am not Maria, I'm just playing the character. Despite that, I have my life I have to live, I have dreams I have to achieve. I never thought I could be a content creator. I have been a musician. It has been my dream to be a musician."



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