Actor Thabo Mkhabela has impressed South Africa with his role as Leshole Mabitsela on popular SABC1 soapie Skeem Saam.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Thabo told the publication that when people meet him on the street they think he is Leshole. They treat him as if he is Leshole.
“People think they own me. They tell me to jump but forget that I am a real person. I don’t mind it much because I love the role.” – Thabo Mkhabela said.
Thabo Mkhabela recounted a time when his character pretended to be someone else online, a practice called catfishing, and he was reprimanded for it by fans in real life.
“They would come to me and shout at me. They would tell me how to behave and tell me what I was doing wasn’t right. They don’t mean harm, they are just excited. But something needs to be done to educate people. They need to know what happens on TV isn’t real.”
Thabo believed the role has set him apart and made sure he will always be remembered in TV folklore for his character in the same way Connie Ferguson will always be known as Karabo Moroka.
He further added “I don’t like thinking about the future too much but I think I will always be Leshole. The character will stick with me for the rest of my life, long after I have left Skeem Saam. Something like Karabo. People just like him so much.”