Meme, the villain you love to hate

YOU know her as the cheeky and irritating Meme in the television soapie Muvhango - but off-screen Tsholofelo Monedi is nothing like the character she portrays.

She is a very shy and soft-spoken person. I observed these qualities as we talked about her role in Muvhango.

But there is no doubt that on television she is the villain you love to hate.

In fact, her character is so irritating that you would think Monedi ducks hot klaps and punches wherever she goes.

But many people admire her and some want to know if she behaves like her character.

"Unlike other actors, no one has ever klapped or punched me," she reveals. "Instead they are curious and they want to know if I behave like Meme. They are surprised that we have different personalities."

Since Monedi was introduced to viewers in 2007 her character has grown, bringing out the best of her talent. Though she has not yet won any awards the girl from Mabopane, north of Pretoria, knows her thing.

In defining her character, she says: "When I joined Muvhango Meme was just an ordinary girl who came from humble beginnings.

"She had worked hard to get a degree in finance despite her humble background. Like all people, she met people in Johannesburg who influenced her.

"Now she has forgotten her values and principles.

"She is this parasite and bitchy person who wants to sleep her way to the top."

She says the transition in Meme's life has pushed her to work even harder.

"I enjoy playing the role because it is fascinating. In fact, playing her is a daily challenge. I always try to do it better than I did it the last time."

Monedi says the current storyline about Meme is relevant to the lives of many modern women.

"Many people can relate to the character because there is a Meme that you know out there. The truth is that even if you have all the money, cars and cushy job you still want a hug and a family when you come back home. That is why many women fall into the hands of cruel and abusive men."

Monedi says she and her character are two different people. She says her cheek and respect for other people has kept her grounded as a person.

"I respect all people in spite of their backgrounds," she says.

The actress says it all started after she matriculated when she felt the need to be in the entertainment industry.

For the Mabopane-born lass it all started at the Tshwane University of Technology where she studied drama.

After she completed her studies, Monedi went straight into the field where she was involved in theatre before landing her role in Muvhango.

"I always liked acting. When I went to varsity I got a package of what I always wanted to do. I did dance, music and drama."

She would like to do a lot of films and stage plays.