IS there anything Thando Thabethe can’t do? She’s a successful radio and TV star, a brilliant businesswoman and now she’s making waves on the big screen in a new film role. The Soweto-born actress tells Move! how she’s dealing with all her commitments – and opens up about her failed engagement.
A NEW MOVIE
It seems this year is full of new adventures for Thando (28). The former Generations – The Legacy actress has bounced back to the film industry after she landed a role in a new local film titled Love Lives Here.
“I play Zinhle Malinga. The character is obsessed with being in love and [has] a set idea of a perfect life. Zinhle plans to go to school, go to varsity, get a job, find a man, get married and have kids. She, however, learns that sometimes that’s not always how life works,” Thando shares.
The actress says she and the character are somewhat different.
“Zinhle is a little obsessed with the idea of marriage but I’m not. My theory is, whatever rocks my boat, rocks my boat at that time,” explains the media personality who is looking forward to the reaction of viewers towards the movie. The movie is currently showing in cinemas across the country.
This is not the first film the radio personality has starred in. The actress previously starred in Mr Right Guy back in 2016, but this time she isn’t just part of the cast but she is an associate producer. The curious entrepreneur says she gets bored easily and constantly wants to learn and better herself. This is one of the reasons she decided to learn about what happens behind the scenes where film is concerned.
“This is my second feature film but this time I got to learn about creating a film from pre-production where they plan elements involving the film, production where they shoot the movie, post-production where editing
of raw footage takes place and the final product. These are not things you get into as a cast member. I’m also hoping to be an executive producer real soon,”she boasts.
Being an executive producer will entail Thando managing the budget of a film and ensuring filming is completed on time, among other things. She goes back to talking about the movie, which has some steamy bedroom scenes. “It’s sexy and we push the envelope a little when it comes to the sex scenes. Those scenes are pretty hectic. Since I’m very comfortable in my skin, these scenes were not very uncomfortable,” she laughs. In the movie we get to see two different sex scenes. One of the scenes includes Lungile Radu with Zola Nombona and the other; Lungile with Thando. She also tells Move! that the decision to add steam to the sex scenes was one that was taken on the spot and that none of it was actually planned.
BUSINESS AND MEDIA SAVVY
Thando is an innovative entrepreneur and launched her own lingerie brand, Thabooty, in 2017. A year into the business, the brand expanded and Thabooty launched a swimwear range.
She says being an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted. “Getting people to believe in your brand is not easy and funding was a bit of a challenge as everything came directly out of my pocket. I ran with the idea for my range myself and didn’t pitch it to someone else first,” she says.
In June last year, Thando got the chance to present her own show,
Thando Bares All, on TLC (DStv 135). Not every celebrity gets the opportunity to host their own show and this was a milestone for the radio host.
The show focuses on issues that many consider to be taboo such as stripping and polygamy. The eight-episode long show also took the conversation to the streets where the co-host, Carissa Cupido, would ask the public what they thought about a particular issue that was being discussed in the studio.
Meanwhile, Thando’s radio career began when she joined UJ FM as a student at the University of Johannesburg.
She later joined local youth radio station, YFM and now hosts the drive time show, The Thabooty Drive, on 5FM. Thando has starred on several TV soapies and dramas, including My Perfect Family and House Keepers.
Thando tells Move! that when rumours started doing the rounds about her engagement with ex-fiancé, Frans Mashao, being broken, they had already been separated for some time. “That made it easier because then I got to go through the journey by myself for a while, outside the spotlight. By the time everyone caught wind of the break-up, I had healed. I also keep my circle of friends very small and I dealt with the situation like any other girl would handle it,” says the actress.
Thando also confirmed to Move! that she and her ex are not back together as many believe.
Thando, who grew up in Soweto, has a very close relationship with her mom and her younger sister who is five years young than her.
“Growing up in Soweto was fun, and I really had a good childhood. My mom allowed me to be myself and was open to all the dreams and aspirations I had. Even though my sister is younger than me, she is very supportive of my career and my business ventures. She also asks lot of questions, which I’m always happy to answer,” she says.