Article by: John-Otto Phike, Article Contributor: Lindokuhle Mbonani, Photographer: Katlego Mokubyane, Photographer Assist: Sandile Mkhize, Junior Creative Direction: Modise Motaung, Creative Assist: Thembi Zikalala, Production Coordinator: Siyanda Buthelezi, Wardrobe: Kojo Africa, Makeup: Phumzile Mhlongo, Transcribed by Lindokuhle Mbonani
Dineo Rasedile is a South African actor from Secunda, Mpumalanga, best known for a her character, Yolanda on eExtra’s Ambition, alongside Late actor Mary Thwala. Rasedile boasts an illustrious career in theatre, tv and film both locally and internationally. In shows such as Saints and Sinners, Scandal, MTV Shuga and The Estate, locally, and Sulphur and White, Dora, Dead Places and Commandos, internationally.
Rasedile is a conscious speaker. On set she was mingling with everyone from cast to crew and even guests of the day. Her openness to speak made for a relaxed and conversation interview. Here is what Dineo Rasedile had to say about being part of Actor Spaces The Next!
John-Otto: What does being part of the Actor Spaces The Next! series mean to you?
Dineo: I feel really excited. When I got the invitation, I wholeheartedly looked forward to it as I have been following Actor Spaces for numerous years and I have seen all the actors that have been profiled by Actor Spaces over the years, therefore to be selected was amazing. I cannot wait to see the outcome.
John-Otto: This campaign speaks to young actors who are standing out in their careers and will create an impact in the future. As an actor, what do you think makes you stand out in your craft?
Dineo: That question has always lingered in my mind from the beginning of my acting career because I have been told that I was different from the people that one would usually see on TV. Different in such a way that I am dark-skinned, I have rich, natural hair and that I am a powerful performer – I am not afraid to be vulnerable enough to authentically express my emotions. With that said, I believe those are my weapons.
John-Otto: Dineo, you mentioned vulnerability as one of your weapons. Which other weapons did you make use of to birth Amogelang on “The Estate”?
Dineo: With Amogelang it was rollercoaster of difficulty as I had minimal background information about her when I auditioned, but when I learnt that I booked the role, a ball of realization hit me because there was an abundance of research I had to confront about her. I have never experienced anything, even close, to what she has experienced. In order for me to deliver an authentic performance, I collected documentaries to gain better understanding of the psychology behind what happens to people who are involved in cults and young girls who pour their trust onto people that they are unfortunately unsafe with. I spent most of my time doing research. I approached it with showers of empathy which is another weapon that every actor should have when storytelling. To conclude my answer, there has always been a different formula to which I approach every character that I have played.
John-Otto: What would you say is the importance of approaching your characters differently?
Dineo: As an individual that overthinks, it is very important for me to not marginalize myself, I never submit to one method. I would have been stagnant with Amogelang – as I have never been in her situation – if I made use of the method I would always use for relatable characters. It is important for me to be distant from my comfort zone and also just understand that each character lives in their own world with their own experiences. It is then my responsibility to fill in the cracks.
John-Otto: We’ve spoken about the journey of getting to where you are in the industry. It is less likely that beginners come into industry and instantly make it as opposed to other actors having a long journey before their breakthrough. What is essential about your journey in becoming an impactful figure?
Dineo: Impactful to who exactly? because I feel like one can do the most impactful things yet not necessarily be the biggest star. To answer your question, based on the journey, I think that is where one’s personal character is built, sharpened and polished. If I booked a role at my first audition and instantly became famous, it would have psychologically tormented me. I do not trust that I was ready. Now I know better. I know what I am doing, what I want to achieve, what role I play in the industry and what I desire to gain from it as opposed to saying “I just want to act”.
John-Otto: What has been the most impactful thing to happen in your journey as an actor?
Dineo: It had to be the intangible. Namely, the interactions I have had with Mam’ Mary Thwala. Mam’ Mary shared her wisdom with me and I have gracefully carried it with me since.
John-Otto: What has she vividly taught you?
Dineo: Mam’ Mary taught me to be independent on set. Given the different directors that we have equally encountered on “Ambitions”, she taught me the art of thinking on my feet. She was tender yet so strict and believed in discipline that it was contagious. We would make jokes a laugh when the camera was off but as soon as action was called, she completely gave in to the character and story. Another thing she taught me was to respect everyone’s role on set.
John-Otto: Your character on today’s shoot was Solomon Mahlangu. He was a powerful political actor in the late 70s. How can you say his impact on people parallels the impact you have in people’s lives today?
Dineo: When I was preparing, what stood out for me was that Solomon was only twenty-three years old when he was brutally hung. I could not fathom that a man his age could crawl for the next generation to fly, well aware that it could risk his life. I believe that I am not doing it for myself but I am also expanding my hand to help others that come after me.
John-Otto: How would you say your career can bridge that gap, as Solomon Mahlangu has, for the next generation?
Dineo: I have been trying to be intentional about it for the past three years. Being from a small town in Secunda, Mpumalanga, created more purpose for me to bridge that gap. There are so many talented people back at home who are eager to know how to achieve their goal of being in the industry yet lack resources, therefore I aim to decrease the chances of young talent to fall into the same trap. I know the pain of deprivation.
John-Otto: Moving forward, what kind of stories would you like to tell in the South African industry?
Dineo: There are so many stories that we have not told as a collective, but I am also excited because we are gathering all these emerging writers, directors and D.O.P’s. There is hope. Anyway, I am fond of real-life experience stories. My aim is to tell more stories of people of colour. I mean, I am fond of action movies but I do like stories that are authentic, original and relatable.
John-Otto: On a fun note! Please finish the sentence. Dineo is impactful because…
Dineo: She loves!