ACTRESS Chi Mhende is leaving longstanding soapie Generations – The Legacy after three years of playing a transgender character that sparked debate. It has been rumoured that her exit comes after speculation that viewers were a tad bit annoyed with her character’s storyline. In an interview with Move!, the soapie’s publicist Gaaratwe Mokhethi subtly dismissed the rumours.
When Wandile, a character she played was first introduced on the soapie in 2015, she became a topic of discussion as it was the first time ever on South African television that a life of a transgender was being depicted. Viewers had the opportunity to witness her process of transformation as she went from being a man to a woman, Wandi. In interviews shortly after joining the soapie, she found herself explaining that she was indeed a girl and not a boy like people had initially thought.
In this fast-paced industry, it is easy for rumours to make it to front page news. Like with Chi, rumours quickly caught the attention of viewers. It is speculated that she is leaving because her role is ‘annoying’ and on social media, some viewers of the show also jumped to the conclusion that Chi was fired from the soapie. This is something that Gaaratwe has not entertained, saying it is far from the truth.
“Her exit is very much amicable and peaceful,” she says. Gaaratwe instead promises that Chi’s departure will be as exhilarating as her debut on the show was but would not divulge much.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
In an interview with a newspaper, Chi revealed that she is already working on a theatre play dubbed Chasing Chairs at Joburg’s Market Theatre. “People mostly associate me with Wandile, my male character from Generations, but I want them to see that I am a performer.”
Sending well wishes to Chi for her future endeavours, Gaaratwe says, “She is a phenomenal actress and she will certainly soar in whatever she chooses to pursue.” Her last appearance on the show will be on 29 April.
Young and talented actresses, such as Chi, who have also left the show, are Zenande Mfenyane, Thuso Mbedu, Thando Thabethe and Thuli Phongolo and they have all soared in different capacities within the industry. With all the changes that have befallen Generations, it is still watched and loved by millions of loyal viewers. At the time of going to print, Chi could not be reached for comment.