‘This is my biggest break’ – Thabiso suits up for new role in Adulting series

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Thabiso suited up at the launch of Showmax's Adulting drama series in Sandton.
Thabiso suited up at the launch of Showmax's Adulting drama series in Sandton.
Keamogetswe Matlala

It was all suits and no ties at Monarch in Sandton as a new drama series is launched.

“[An] opportunity to tell relationship drama from a male’s perspective,” is how Tebogo Matlawa, Showmax commissioning editor, describes the new show.

In it, four varsity friends take on the journey of success and love in modern-day South Africa.

They are the hottest in town and come different backgrounds, living in different realities and their bromance is unmatched.

The squad of four stars in Showmax’s eight-part series, Adulting. While Thembinkosi Mthembu, who plays Bonga, is a familiar face, the three others may be new to viewers.

One of them is Thabiso Rammusi, who plays Mpho, the only married one in the squad with two twin sons and a beautiful wife, played by Lungile Duma. 

Chuckling at how he acts out a life that is not all too different from his own, Thabiso says he relates to the character structurally.

“His structure is what I already have. It is what God has already blessed me with, the family two kids [and] my kids are actually [both] boys.”

When he read through the script for the first time, he says he even suspected that “casting director voodoo” is at play.

“When you're auditioning, you only know that you are a husband and you don't know yeah that nitty-gritties until you get the script and you sit down like oh wow!”

As surreal as it was, it was affirmation that this character was definitely for him but the cheating part though, not so much.

“I had a lot of parts where I didn't have to judge [but I did]. I would read and I'm like ‘but Mpho come on! You can do better' but now I had to go back and say if I'm going to judge him, I'm not going to play him the way he needs to be portrayed because some guys are just like that.”

Read More | 'Viewers are going to see a more fun side to me' - Thembinkosi Mthembu on his latest character, Bonga

Not being a bachelor is however not the only way that Mpho is distinct from Bonga, Vuyani, played by Luthando Mthembu and Eric, played by Nhlanhla Kunene.

Unlike the other three, Thabiso is not Zulu but by virtue of hailing from a township, he wings it.

In the first episode already, he switches between seSotho and Zulu, bringing out the rich diversity that he’s so proud of.

“Soweto is such a rich place to grow up in. I say this because it's very diverse. The characters that are in the story, I grew up seeing them. They're not foreign to me, I didn't even have to switch on the TV to see those characters. It's such a rich place to live in because now you get to learn so much, there's different cultures, there's different languages, there's different styles of living.”

One of the settings of the series is Soweto, particularly the Konka night club as seen in the first episode, but not even shooting his dream show in the area where his dreams were nurtured, makes the cut of highlights for him.

Out of everything that this opportunity has brought onto his lap, Thabiso tells Drum that the highlight has been seeing the Adulting billboard in his hood, right above the streets that he grew up on.

“I'm not a big fan of Konka and all that but one thing that I'd say that was really moving is seeing the Adulting billboard in my hood. You see that, for me, took it away because now I know that I get to reach people that are so close to me [to] inspire them, to let them know ‘black child, dream! Your dreams are valid you can get it!’”.

At a few points in his life, his dream of being an actor was met with adversity, but he didn’t let it get to him.

From the age of 14 years old, the thespian at heart started dancing professionally. When he decided to stop bottling himself into one arts practice, he “jumped into acting because I loved it. I realised that while you choreograph, you’re creating stories, so I was like ‘I really enjoy this’”.

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From hip-hop, contemporary and break dancing on various stages as a teenager, he started knocking on the Market Theatre’s doors at the age of 18 but because he had dropped out of school without a matric qualification at the time, doors closed before him.

When he finally got his matric qualification, he went back again to knock, only to find that there was no space for new enrolments.

Like the resourceful township boy that he was, Thabiso squeezed the academic knowledge of acting from his friend Christmas Mokone, who had graduated from AFDA. Coupled with workshops here and there after he got himself an agency to represent him, he gradually honed his skills and landed a role in the classical play - The Suit.

When he finally got the life-changing call to let him know that he had bagged the Adulting role, he says he had “an out of body experience. It was amazing, it was scary. [I] had all these emotions inside that I can't really single out.”

Now that he’ll be on the TV screens from Monday, 20 March, he says, “It's just the tip of the iceberg. I wanna see myself in bigger roles, different characters that are more challenging and all that.”

Given his history with dancing and his character’s lively party life, Thabiso says Mpho might bring out a few dance moves for everyone to learn on the show.

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