“I’m in awe and overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude”- Bahumi Madisakwane on portraying a young Lebo Mathosa
Who is Bahumi?
Bahumi is a progressive, constantly evolving actress who just loves bettering and entertaining people. I’m currently a film student doing a degree in Directing and Producing.
How are you handling the criticism that you got the role because you’re ‘Somizi’s daughter’?
It’s something I saw coming, so I it gave me time to process the exact level of public opinion this role would spark. Understanding this, helped fix my focus on portraying who Lebo was as candidly and faithfully as possible throughout. Along with putting hard work and dedication into this production, I had to enjoy it – she would’ve wanted me to, so I couldn’t have done that had I allowed any form of criticism to impair me.
How did you get the role of the young Lebo Mathosa?
A friend of mine sent me a text with the flyer advertising the auditions at Skyrink Studios. My initial reaction was astonishment. Once I saw that they were open-call auditions and that there would probably be other hopefuls commenting and glaring at me as I cued, the nerves kicked in and I almost didn’t audition. The night before the audition I realised that my reason for not pursuing this role would haunt me for the rest of my life if I didn’t overcome it then. So, I went to Skyrink, did the best that I could, and waited for what seemed like forever for call-backs, and finally received a call in the middle of the mall letting me know I that I got it. Needless to say, I went crazy!
How do you feel about portraying such an icon?
I’m still in awe to this day. This is big – it feels like a huge honour and responsibility. Lebo Mathosa inspired many people, myself included; and to be telling the story of such a music powerhouse, entertainment mogul, and soulful human being, particularly as a black woman on BET – a television network that celebrates black excellence across the globe, I’m in awe and overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude.
How did you get into character? And, what was the most challenging part?
Before taking on this role I knew that I had to delve into who she was and not solely rely on the limited knowledge I had of her; so, before my first audition, I was sure to watch her videos, from how she moved to how she spoke. Once I was given the role it became even deeper, almost unbearable – dancing, singing and acting at the same time is not an easy task, especially when you take the one as seriously as the other – so it was both emotionally and physically taxing. I also tried asking about her from those closest to her, but above all else, I really wouldn’t have made it through this process without constant reliance on God and prayer. It was too overwhelming to have handled it on my own.
What are the similarities or differences between you and Lebo?
More similarities than differences (to my surprise). For one, I didn’t think I had her confidence and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to elicit that part of her – however, upon reading the script I found that she pretty much had the same fears and went through the same anxiety I went through, but instead of giving in to them, she used them to propel her performances, and that was my lightning bolt moment: performing no longer meant having to wait for my fears to dissipate, however, it meant understanding that they’re there and inducing the confidence inside of me instead of evoking the fears alone.
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Can we look forward to seeing more of you on our screens?
Of course! We’ll leave it at that for now, you guys just must let God and I shock you!