Thembeka Shezi back to wreak havoc on Scandal!
The biggest TV villainess of this decade Thembeka Shezi is back.
Actress Masasa Mbangeni is reprising the love-to-hate role that turned her into a household name.
In 2016, after playing TV's most cunning woman for four years, Mbangeni broke the hearts of six million South Africans when she left Scandal!.
After three and half years, she is ready to spread holiday cheer in the best way by wreaking havoc in the e.tv soapie.
"I'm so excited to be back. I was quite nervous too because I thought it has been years - a lot of things has changed, but a lot of things have also remained the same," Mbangeni says.
"Walking into the set the first time I was super nervous and it felt like the first time. But as soon as the camera started rolling it became familiar again.
"Contrary to popular belief, Scandal! and myself parted on very good terms. When I was asked to come back the timing made sense."
Mbangeni is making her return on December 31 and she's not the only troublemaker back in town.
Inxeba: The Wound actor Bongile Mantsai is making a comeback on December 30 after months off screen as Mthunzi Mayiza. Yes, Mthunzi and Thembeka are teaming up.
"Don't expect anything... expect the unexpected," Mbangeni teases.
"Playing with Bongile has been exciting. He's an incredible actor and he's incredibly generous. Working with Lusanda Mbane [Boniswa Langa] has been fantastic too. They have made me fall in love with Xhosa because my Xhosa is inadequate compared to what they speak."
During her time away from the show she had roles in TV shows such as The Republic, The River, Harvest, Hard Copy, Thola and It's Complicated.
Mbangeni also did a lot of theatre work and for a year was an acting teacher.
But no matter how hard she tried to escape it, everyone just wanted their Thembeka back. "It used to frustrate me. But I've come to realise that the love doesn't come from 'we don't think she can play anything else'," Mbangeni says.
"I've realised that she's one of those iconic characters like Ntsiki Lukhele (Pamela Nomvete), Archie Moroka (Sello Maake Ka-Ncube) and Cherel de Villiers (Michelle Botes)."
Looking at the state of acting in the country, Mbangeni says the climate is perfect for local actor to make big career moves. "I think it's been a decade of growth. I don't take it for granted to be doing the work I do and in the economy that we live in."
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