Shining Diamond Student: Mpho Sebeng
by Lesego Mojanaga Mpho Sebeng has dedicated three years of his life to his studies at the University of the Witwatersrand as a BA student majoring in Politics and Philosophy, but not only is he a learned academic, this young twenty-two year old star has been in the television industry for close to eleven years and in 2014 he continues to take precedence among people his age with his talent, skill and charm and I am sure the ladies will agree with! We met up with him at Wits on a Saturday afternoon as he rocks up in high spirits and we sat down with him after the photo shoot. He told us about MiBackground… I was born in the Westrand of Johannesburg, Witpoortjie to be exact. I went to school at Westridge High School where I had a lot of good memories. I was too much of a boss in high school (laughs). I was a HipHop dancer and a sports fanatic, a 1ST team rugby player, and I participated in soccer and athletics. I was basically one of the popular dudes in high school. High school was too nice. I also have a younger sister who is in grade 8 now. MiBeginings started the moment I developed love for two things, acting and law. I remember in primary school, there used to be concerts that took place annually, and I would take part in the plays and I loved the feeling of being on stage. At one of the plays my mother’s friend was able to see the passion I had for performing and she recommended that I pursue a career in acting and next thing I knew I landed my first job. “I LOVED THE FEELING OF BEING ON STAGE” My first acting job was playing S’busiso on Zero Tolerance and it brings back the fondest memory that I have about my first audition. The producer just looked at me straight in the eye and said “This is our kid, this is our S’busiso”, she believed in me and that locked in the confidence that I needed for the entertainment industry. Being so long in the industry one has to share some confessions, MiConfessions are that yes, I have googled myself and the only thing I do not like about myself are my pictures! But the actor rating that they put out there, makes up for the pictures (laughs). I have to confess, although acting opened me up to so much, if I was not an actor I would be a Lawyer or a Politician. So is Mpho in a relationship? That’s complicated! You the facebook status “It is complicated”? yeah, it’s complicated. Many aspiring young actors either want to complete their studies or some drop-out to pursue their acting careers, how do you balance both? MiFocus at the moment, is on school and work and I am able to balance them by the grace of God, being selfless and also making a lot of sacrifices. These sacrifices include not going to some of the work related functions and not going out with friends. I understand that I have a degree to complete and that requires me to do well on my assignments, tests and exams. I know what I want and I need to make informed sacrifices to acquire it. However most importantly as the first born child in my family I need to set a good example for my younger sibling, and this is a responsibility that I take to heart. My degree is important because after I complete it I plan to use it to tell our African stories. I feel like the movies in cinema houses tell the stories of the western white man. We as Africans are rich of stories and we just need to tell them, my role is to use my art to change our continent for the better. I am enjoying MiWork very much, playing Nkosi on Saints and Sinners is challenging because I have to disrespect women so openly and it is something that I strongly stand against, I believe women should be loved, cherished and respected. “I WANT TO USE MY ART TO CHANGE OUR CONTINENT FOR THE BETTER” But because I have been given creative freedom, I am able to make Nkosi who he is. What is next for Mpho Sebeng? I love music and I am busy with a music project with D-Squad that’s due to be dropped soon, so be on the lookout for it. I am still going to be presenting on Craze, ShizNiz is my baby. I am involved in a project for a soapie (laughs) but I will not mention any names. MiInspirational Personalities in three The top three people that inspire me would be someone who is no longer with us, Steven Bantu Biko. What inspires me about him would be the legacy he left behind because he knew what the struggle was really about. He has inspired me in a way of me forging my own identity and being conscious and proud of what I am. Denzel Washington inspires me, and what I like about him is that he epitomises how consistency and persistence will bring you success, to this day Denzel still goes to acting classes although he is a brilliant actor. Lastly, Nthati Moshesh, her experience speaks volumes. It seems like she moulds whatever role is given to her like a glove. I admire her discipline and the passion she has for her craft.