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Soap star soaks up the attention

HIS cunning smile and deceiving persona has irritated millions of Generations fans. But though his character, Nicholas Nomvethe, has personally created enemies for him, Thato Molamu says there is no other role he'd rather play.

"The character has boosted my career so much that everyone recognises me as 'Generations' Nicholas'. I can't say I am complaining about the attention I'm receiving," the actor says.

Molamu says the negative side of his fame is that he is forever living under public scrutiny.

"I cannot be me anymore. I have to be careful with the way I party, play, talk and walk.

"When acting in a big show like Generations, you refrain from many things.

"I can't just fart in public like before, there is a certain standard I have to uphold.

"I am not only a public figure but I am now a role model to young people," says the 26-year-old actor.

Molamu says there are some viewers who are irritated by his character to such an extent that they vow to stop watching the show.

"This character is like a drug. People have a love-hate relationship with Nicholas. That is how it should be.

"Nicholas is supposed to be a villain and I'm glad that I'm presenting the character well," he says.

How has the character changed his life?

Molamu - who has appeared on SABC 1's Intersexions and SABC 2's Hillside, among other shows - says he barely walks on the street without being recognised.

According to him a lot of people misunderstand Nicholas because they think he is gay.

Who can blame them? The writers of the show have kept Nicholas's sexuality ambiguous.

Nicholas has gay tendencies and his endeavors to always attract Jason's attention have put a question mark on his intentions.

"Nicholas is not gay. He is just a user who will do whatever it takes to reach the top.

"Though he presents gay tendencies he is so straight," Molamu says.

Being famous, or infamous rather, has affected the ways in which he handles his day-to-day activities.

Talking about real life matters of the heart, Molamu says he is as straight as a ruler and is in a relationship with someone he refers to only as "Baby".

"I vowed to her that I will never mention her real name to the media. Baby is not a celebrity and I love her to death," says the actor.

Molamu, who is from Mafikeng, North West, and has two children from previous relationships, has a curriculum vitae that reads like a novel.

The Film and Broadcasting graduate from Damelin has acted both on stage and on the small screen.

He says he cut his teeth acting in theatre, mainly at the North West Arts Council in 1996 in children's productions.

"That was very enjoyable. It built my acting abilities and confidence. I enjoyed The Grand Ball and Jack In The Box," he says.

Molamu also played Lysander and Peter Quince in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream in 2001.