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From radio to TV, former Makgabaneng’s Bothakga looks up to Connie Ferguson for inspiration

The success story that is Connie Ferguson remains one of the greatest inspirations to many in the television industry. Connie Ferguson (née Masilo; born 10 June 1970 in Kimberley but raised in Botswana) is a South African actress, filmmaker, producer and businesswoman. She is popularly known for her Karabo Moroka main role on South Africa’s most popular Soap Opera, Generations. Now running her own production, together with husband Shoina Ferguson dubbed Ferguson Films which produces Mzansi’s most popular soapie, The Queen, there is nothing stopping this TV star who many look up to for inspiration.

For many budding Motswana born actors and actresses, the Ferguson story continues to give them hope that everything dream is possible no matter one’s past circumstances. Not so long ago, the Fergusons were brought by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) to drill local talent on what it takes to make it in the cutthroat TV industry.

SOUTH AFRICA – June 2011: South African actress Connie Ferguson during a photo shoot for YOU Pulse magazine. (Photo by Gallo Images / You Pulse / Aubrey Jonsson)

This is further summed by Thuli Seitei – an actress cum fitness enthusiast who in her wildest dreams sees herself as the next Ferguson in the making. She’s both an actress and fitness fanatic just like her role model, Ferguson.

Despite being half the age of Ferguson, twelve years ago, for a period of five years, Seitei started her acting career on a popular radio drama dubbed Makgabaneng playing a female teenage girl, Bothakga who resided in a remote cattle post. Fast forward to today, she looks to switch things up as she has now ventured into television acting. She has joined Pillars which airs on NOW TV produced by Dini Mophakedi – Matlakala from yesteryears production of Thokolosi.

Seitei predicts this move as her first mile into taking over the status of her role model and South African based star actress Ferguson to guide her budding career. Ferguson grew popularity from her days as Karabo Moroka on SABC 1’s Generations before becoming a producer of many productions such as The Queen and Rockville.

In an exclusive interview this week, Seitei (25) says it was time to move to television to learn more and escalate her career. With television hugely different from radio, she is excited of her new challenge.

“When I accepted the challenge, or an upgrade into my acting career, I knew television won’t be like radio. I was getting used and complacent to radio acting. With television everything is fast paced, its lights, camera and action. I pin my hopes on my unique talents and aptitude to carry me forth. The creative world evokes emotions but importantly is diversifying. I am hooked already on television acting.”

Comparing her transition from radio to television, she says radio is about voices but television is a different as it involves a lot of characters personified by one actor.

“Television is about emotions, body language, the transition is impressive whilst radio acting is much easier, its just you behind the microphone.However I realized that television is a lot, mistakes are bound to happen. For instance, you are not allowed to look straight into the camera but as a rookie obviously you can’t ignore a camera in front of you,” said a very confident Seitei.

Thanks to her enthusiasm, Seitei has been taking extra lessons from her production team leaders to further drill her knowledge for television acting.

“I been working closely with my directors and producers, on what they want and expect from me. Obviously putting extra work is the start of making of a great actress start with a certain focus. I am privileged because some of them we worked on radio together,” she lamented.

However, with her double and parallelled career, Seitei is also a fitness fanatic with three kids among them twins.

“It’s not easy to juggle between my three jobs, mothering, my acting and a 9 -5. I am thankful for the support system my family has displayed since my journey. You can imagine late nights and early mornings. It’s not easy, however, I am grateful for life. I also take health very seriously; my fitness inspiration is Mapule Ndlovu.”

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Moagi Madisa

"Although journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the product of these activities; for me its science - our sorroundings"

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