SHE’S been called a golddigging slay queen.
But there’s more to Skeem Saam’s Rachel Kunutu than that, actress Lesego Marakalla believes. She has a brain and she’s not afraid to use it, she says.
Lesego has just gone back to set after a prolonged absence due to the lockdown. She had been back for a month or so when the coronavirus pandemic forced the country into a total shutdown.
NOT AN AIRHEAD
“They usually give us a break after shooting a draining storyline. So after the wedding, I was given some time out.
“I think a lot of people misunderstand Rachel because she is a slay queen, but she has a brain underneath all that. That is why she does not like it when Marothi [her onscreen husband played by Macks Papo] treats her like a trophy wife who does not have anything to say. She enjoys the benefits and money that comes with being his wife, but he dare not treat her like a bimbo,” Lesego says.
Since marrying Marothi, Rachel now has a bonus daughter in Nakedi (Mathapelo Mokgolo). Not much older than the teenager, Rachel has to navigate being an instant mom.
“She overcompensates by buying her things so Nakedi can love her. It is challenging for her to be in that position because she has never raised a child. But she is determined to prove a point.”
Viewers can expect more drama as Lesego says there will be ups and down in Rachel and Nakedi’s relationship. Things are going to be a little different in the household.
Skeem Saam confirmed that Rachel and Marothi will no longer be filmed in bed together. “The scenes that are shot during this time are carefully chosen – no scenes where the cast are required to hug or touch,” Skeem Saam spokesperson Sumaya Mogola told The Sowetan.
Rachel has now qualified as a nurse and has started working at the Turfloop Hospital where her mother works.
Lesego says the young nurse will go through hiccups like everyone else does when they start a new job, but she will be alright. “In her heart she wishes she had listened to her father and became a doctor, but she is determined to make this nursing thing work. Being at the same hospital as her mother is draining for her, but there will be a point when they find a way of being civil.”
She’s an ordinary human being who just happens to have a job on TV, so she never talks about her private life.
She doesn’t think of herself as a celebrity, she’s a performer, she tells us. “There is nothing great about being on TV, in my opinion, it is just a regular job. The only difference is that millions of people get to see you doing your job.”
She giggles and plays coy when asked if she is in relationship. “But I just said I do not like talking about my private life. But, no, I am not seeing anyone.”
She says she is nothing like Rachel and the only similarity she can think of is that they both lost their fathers when they were teenagers. “I was raised by a single mother after my dad died, just like Rachel, but that is it. I enjoy playing her. She challenges me because our characters are different. I am a very simple person.”