Veteran actress Mmabatho Mogomotsi excited about her acting comeback.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Mmabatho Mogomotsi, who played Snowey in Yizo Yizo more than 20 years ago, is making her acting comeback with the new Showmax Original Outlaws, as one of the lead characters.
Outlaws will premiere on 6 September 2023.
Mogomotsi is set to embody character of Moretlo, the influential Basotho queen-pin overseeing the largest cattle-raiding syndicate in Lesotho. Positioned as the nemesis of the Zulu Biyela clan, who engage in cattle farming across the border in KwaZulu-Natal, Moretlo is poised to be a formidable presence.
South Africa's first modern-day Western series, Outlaws is created by Tshedza Pictures' Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon, who've won five Best Scriptwriting SAFTAs in the past four years for smash-hit shows like The Republic and The River, which was also nominated for an International Emmy. Outlaws is Tshedza's second Showmax Original, building on the success of Adulting, which set a record for the most first-day views of any drama on the streaming service in March 2023.
Mmabatho co-stars alongside fresh faces Lehlohonolo Mayeza and Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku, SAFTA winner Nolwazi Shange (The River, Mzali Wami), two-time SAFTA nominee Siyabonga Shibe (Shaka iLembe, The Wife, Gaz’lam), Men’s Health Cover Guy Challenge winner Mnqobi Kunene (How To Manifest a Man) and man of the moment, Thembinkosi Mthembu (Adulting, Shaka iLembe, The River).
Speaking about her role, the actress shared insights, stating, "Moretlo is the matriarch of the Ts'eole family that belongs to the Basotho side of the story. Moretlo is your ordinary woman in the village, but she's got a twist about her. She will fight for her family by all means necessary. She would just put up a different personality and do what she needs to do to survive. She would use her gun without thinking twice. So Moretlo is not your ordinary damsel; at war, she changes into something very different."
Mogomotsi draws parallels between her own parenting style and her character. "I'm a mom! '’m a mom who is firm with her children. I'm a mom who's also laid-back but draws the line. Moretlo is the same [with] her son. She reigns him in, but let’s go where necessary. So there's a boundary that she exercises.
"That's more like me. I'm not my children's regular friend; I am their mom first. But they can come to me for anything. That's the kind of mom that Leruo has in the story. So that’s the similarity between me and Moretlo," she remarked.
Outlaws follows the wild and lawless territory that lies on the border between Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal, with a focus on the intense rivalry between two feuding families: the Biyela clan, known for their cattle farming, and the Tseoles, notorious for their cattle raiding.