Hellen Motsuki revels in mistress role

Older viewers tend to confuse story to real life

Hellen Motsuki during the Metro FM Music Awards 2023 finalist announcement at Inanda Club on March 30, 2023 in Johannesburg.
Hellen Motsuki during the Metro FM Music Awards 2023 finalist announcement at Inanda Club on March 30, 2023 in Johannesburg.
Image: Oupa Bopape

Skeem Sam actor Hellen Motsuki had to use her friends to fish out information of being a mistress, a role she eventually mastered so perfectly she ended up being hated for it by TV viewers. 

Motsuki plays Melita, a hospital receptionist who preys on married men for money on the SABC1 show. In the series, Melita has an affair with hospital CEO Obed Kgomo, who is married to Ivy who has been sniffing around her hubby's strange behaviour. In recent weeks, viewers have been left in awe as they watched Melita stringing and seducing Obed along and getting him to do whatever she wants.

While Motsuki is playing her role exceptionally, she has also become a villain among older women (viewers) who hate Melita so much that they can't differentiate between her and the actor (Motsuki). The actor says she has been reluctant to go out in public since the storyline started.

“A few week ago I was busy shopping when a woman in her 60s hit me in the heel with a trolley. When I looked at her, she said, 'I did it purposely because you are stealing other women’s husbands. I swear if you do that to my husband, I will deal with you.' It was only then that it hit me that she thought I was Melita.” 

She said in another incident at an award event a woman asked to take a picture with her and she agreed.

“While her husband was taking pictures, she told me not to steal her husband. My heart just sank because I noticed that she was seeing my TV character. But in general people love and have embraced the character.  Others ask me to say Melita’s favourite lines like ‘captain my captain’ and serope mperekele' (thigh do the job for me – of seducing men).” 

Born and bred in Lephalale, Limpopo, Motsuki defines Melita as a good person whose behaviour changed lately because of difficult circumstances.

“She is a very independent woman who is raising her own children. She has never depended on any man. After losing a tender to Alfred and Celia she developed this anger. She dated John Maputla because she wanted money. She saw a loophole to use her body as an ex-model to lure men. With Mr Kgomo, she has realised that she needs to up her game. She is using her sensuality to lure Kgomo to her.” 

This week things reached a boiling point when Melita spent a night at Kgomo’s house while his wife, Ivy, was away. Ivy returned unannounced to find Melita in her kitchen wearing her hubby’s shirt. A big catfight ensued in the house with Melita running into the streets half-naked.

Since Motsuki took on the character in 2015, she has had to work hard to bring Melita to life. 

“The public should expect more drama because Melita does not learn. Viewers will watch as both Kgomo and her go back to each other after the drama. Melita will do everything in her power to win this man.” 

Motsuki says when she learnt about the new storyline she was forced to dig deep in trying to nail the side-chick character. She found herself reaching out to friends who have dated married men. 

“I wanted to understand dating a married man. It is better to hear the story from the horse’s mouth. I am enjoying the story and it is challenging and painful at the same time. 

“This is not the first time I am playing a controversial role. I played the role of Dikeledi in Khumo, Lehuma le Kgosi: War Season 1. In the story, I portrayed a woman who was sleeping with both a son and his father.” 

Motsuki, who got her break in Generations in 2010, admits that it has not been easy for her in the industry. When she got the role, the actress was studying at Tshwane University of Technology doing psychology, a course she detested. 

The 34-year-old mother of one and wife explains that she felt like quitting.

“When I landed the TV role while at university, I knew that this is where I belong. I have loved acting since I was young, but my parents refused to let me study it. After the big break there was no stopping me.” 

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