Masasa Mbangeni (Thembeka Shezi) speaks on her return to SCANDAL! – I promise to serve up more drama


Masasa Mbangeni is back on Scandal!, promises to even more drama, she has been back on the screens for just a few days and already fans can feel her.
True, one of TV’s biggest villains is turning tables once again on Scandal!.
Masasa Mbangeni is thrilled to be playing Thembeka Shezi in the soap again.

Thembeka, terminally ill returns asking her former husband, Quinton Nyathi (Brighton Ngoma) for forgiveness for lying to him about almost everything, including his child’s paternity results . . .

Those close to Quinton are not settled and are watching her with keen eyes. Dintle (Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong) and Layla McKenzie (Natasha Sutherland) are determined to find out her real mission in town and would love to see her return to wherever she’s been for the past few years.


Thembeka has made so many enemies and no wonder none of them are happy to see her.


Masasa is enjoying every minute of portraying Thembeka again and said the second bite feels both different and familiar at the same time.

She left the show in 2016 to pursue other interests and to embark on a journey of rediscovery.

“I didn’t fall off the face of the earth; I did other work in that time and it was great. Being back to play Thembeka has been wonderful, especially returning to set again.

“I must say though, I wasn’t expecting this reception from viewers. I thought because I’d moved on they’d done the same, but it seems they still love the character,” she told Move magazine.

She said the response she got has been wonderful and deeply affirming.

“I just hope the viewers will continue to love the character when they see where the storyline goes.

“I’m relating to Thembeka differently now than I did years ago. I believe this is because I’ve grown as a person, but also as an actor. People evolve over time and so has Thembeka.

“Being back on the Scandal! set is also exciting. It’s different – people have also grown, some have gotten married while others now have kids – and it’s great to be reunited with old friends.

“Some scenes feel familiar because they’re done with people I’ve worked with before, and being in scenes with some of the newer characters is also great. I was happy when I was called to come back,” she said.

Masasa said she’s learnt that
the more things change, the more they t stay the same.

“As Thembeka returns she’s terminally ill, and that brings a new dimension to her character. She’s quite nuanced. She now has six months left to live and a she’s confronted with her mortality. That can’t be easy on anyone. She’s now n forced to reflect on her actions. She’ She’s come back to make amends,” Masasa said.

She also reflected on why it is a good thing to give others second chances in life. “But it also speaks to how as people we often don’t want to give people second chances when they say they they’ve changed from how they used to be. I mean, if you were told you only had six months to live, what would you want to do?

“Would you continue being the miserable person people don’t want to be around, or would you try to change for the bet better?

“So Thembeka has had time to reflect on her life choices. This is really interesting storytelling from the writers,” she added.

She however, said that Thembeka can be unpredictable; “The truth is, we can never be too sure of our girl. She has nine lives. It’s also interesting to see how she interacts with villains like Boniswa (Lusanda Mbane) and Mthunzi (Bongile Mantsai).”


Masasa has been vocal in the past about problems in the entertainment industry, but she said despite all that’s happening the actors always return to their callings, to doing what they love because they know it’s a blessing to be able to do what they do.

“People will say all sorts of things about you, including calling you a diva, but you must just stay in your lane and do what you know is the right thing. When males make demands on set they’re considered serious and sure of what they want, but when women do the same they’re called names for being overly emotional.

“If a man asks for a bar fridge it’s assumed he’ll be thirsty after his scenes, but if Masasa or another woman does the same thing she’s a diva. If she decides to bring her own water on set then some accuse her of thinking she’s better than everyone for bringing her own water. So there’s just no winning.

“When things like that happen we have to ask ourselves, why we do what we do? And for me the answer is that this is my gift from God and my ancestors,” she explained.

She’s been in the entertainment sector for a decade and with every role she takes she’s deliberate and conscious about what she does when she acts.

“Viewers spend 30 minutes in front of their TVs watching us and that’s 30 minutes they never get back. I choose to honour the viewers by doing my very best with every scene.

“Acting is a labour of love and I choose it every day. Over and over again I choose it,” she said.


Masasa spent time teaching drama at a private institution during her absence from our screens. “It was great being in a position to impart knowledge of the goings-on in the industry. I also taught students that our stories and journeys will be different, and each of them must focus on their own.

“I taught them things like how to understand a call sheet and what various terms mean – things I didn’t understand when I was fresh out of varsity and started working,” she said.

And in the love department? She’s happy in a relationship with a kind man, she said, though she was coy to divulge any details.

“It’s not every day that you’re able to find someone who understands the industry that we’re in and have him comfortable in himself. He knows who he is and he’s well accomplished in his field. I must say, I’m grateful to be with a man who’s emotionally in intelligent. He’s a pleasure to be with,” she said.

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