Picture credit: Mabuti Kali.
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Celebrity mom Refilwe Madumo does not believe in channeling children to follow in their parents' career footsteps.

The actress on SABC2 drama series Mamello, and mother of two boys aged six and three, says acting requires passion and dedication for a person to succeed.

"Personally, I wouldn't direct my kids to take up acting. It's up to them to decide if they want to follow me and become actors," she said.

"Like any other work, you have to be passionate about the craft because it reflects and mirrors what's happening in our society.

"It's not enough for my kids to see me or others on TV and think they can also act.

"The work itself involves long hours and long days. It can be taxing."

On Mamello, Madumo (34) plays Dorah Mashego, the deputy school principal of crime-riddled and unruly Mamello High School. She is bitter after she was overlooked for the principal post.

Instead, her Nemesis and her husband's lover Keneilwe (Tsholo Mashaba) was appointed.

"Being overlooked for the post has thrown her life into disarray. She's hell-bent on ruining Keneilwe's career by implicating her in the theft of exam question papers," said Madumo.

"Dorah is also trying hard to get her hubby back after she moved out of their marital home.

"Making matters worse, their daughter, Bokang, adores Keneilwe.

"She is bitter and is about to lose her mind because of the triple blow - losing out on the principal position, losing her husband and now losing her daughter."

Mamello High School itself is a troubled institution. There is rampant crime and drugs peddled by pupils in cahoots with drug lords from the community.

As a result one pupil, Bontle, committed suicide after her rape ordeal.

Madumo believes without support from family and friends she would not be successfully juggling her acting craft and motherhood.

She said she was managing to raise her two boys because she knows they are in the good hands of their caregivers, who keep them healthy and safe during her late nights at work.

The Rhythm City actress - whose current storyline on the e.tv soapie centres around a church cult - is studying towards her Masters degree in Applied Theatre, and is also a theatre exponent of note.

"I do theatre, I write stories. It's time we told our own stories. In the past other people were telling our stories, sometimes from a distorted perspective and with dire consequences."

On stage she recently featured in the Zakes Mda-written and Princess Mhlongo-directed showAnd the Girls in their Sunday Dresses, staged at the Soweto Theatre in June.

Her next big project is a TV talk show about the scourge of women abuse that recently reared its ugly head, to be flighted on SABC1 next year.

"We've been witnessing incidents of women abuse, abductions and rapes in taxis."

Madumo is popular for playing an HIV-infected young mother, Palesa Letswalo, on Scandal!, a role that took her career to new heights.

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