Michelle Mosalakae's acting dream come true in new TV role
Pouting her bee-stung lips and sporting a come-hither stare, ingénue Michelle Mosalakae made her debut on The Queen this week.
"Bonjour" she greeted the Khoza family as we have come to love-to-hate them on the Mzansi Magic telenovela.
It was that love-struck gaze - deserving of a heart eyes emoji - on the character Kagiso's [Loyiso MacDonald] face that gave it away. Viewers are in for another whirlwind romance with the show's resident starboy central to it.
The 24-year-old actress portrays mysterious DRC mother Kamina, with a toddler son in tow, from Kagiso's military past. "Expect some romance with Kagiso. They have been through a lot together in the past and a lot of it has not been seen on screen," she teases.
Renowned for her breakout role as clairvoyant Zakithi on Isibaya, Mosalakae says this is the role she has been waiting to sink her teeth into.
"A lot of people have resonated with the stories on The Queen and as an actor it's a dream come true. I've prayed for this role. It was literally that I asked for something and I got it," she says.
"Every day I feel like I'm at home. The environment is extremely conducive for an actress to be expressive, take risks and you feel like your choices can be bold. You can create and breathe life into a character that is believable."
Mosalakae has taken the local showbiz scene by storm in the two years she has been active - from being nodded at the inaugural DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards last year to landing on SowetanLIVE's Mzansi's Sexiest calendar.
"It's amazing when I sit back and read how all of it has impacted so many people. A lot of people are scared to be themselves and when I see how impactful being me has been it's heart-warming and encouraging."
Mosalakae is also breaking the mould as far as beauty standards are concerned, by starring in international beauty giant Revlon's inclusive "Live Boldly" ad campaign.
She has just added another nod to her colourful resumé after she received a nomination for hot chick of the year at the 10th annual Feather Awards.
The curvaceous bombshell will duke it out with dancer Bontle Modiselle and beauty influencer Mihlali Ndamase.
Mosalakae insists that her kind of sexy comes from the inside out. "I've realised more and more that the word sexy doesn't actually mean seductive. There are so many different meanings and interpretation of sexy," she says.
"Sexy can be confident. Sexy can be being yourself or being nice to people. In that way I can say yes, I do see myself as being sexy."
Born and raised in the township of Mabopane, north of Pretoria, Mosalakae is the only child in her family.
"I was kind of operating in two different worlds. I would go home in the township and then go to this private school in the suburbs," she says of her childhood. "Having to navigate the two worlds is what I always had to do. I wouldn't say it was difficult, though. For me, as a result, the skill of figuring things out in different spaces came early."
Mosalakae has an honours degree in drama, directing and writing from Rhodes University. She shares that her next career move will be working behind-the-scene.
"My mom has taught me so many lessons, but the greatest one has been to always put God first," Mosalakae says.
As far as romance is concerned, for now she's focusing on her blossoming career.
"My dating life is nonexistent," she says. "I'm so passionate about my work and. in a relationship you need to compromise and sacrifice a lot. But if someone comes along and offers me something that I'm not thinking about right now, then I'm open to it."