Motsepe goes back to her roots

UP TO TASK: Lesego plays top role in Biko play. Pic: MUNTU VILAKAZI. 26/01/2006. © Sunday Times.
UP TO TASK: Lesego plays top role in Biko play. Pic: MUNTU VILAKAZI. 26/01/2006. © Sunday Times.

LESEGO Motsepe, a former Lettie Matabane in Isidingo, has landed a glamourous stage role playing former activist Mamphele Ramphele in Martin Koboekae's Biko: Where the Soul Resides.

LESEGO Motsepe, a former Lettie Matabane in Isidingo, has landed a glamourous stage role playing former activist Mamphele Ramphele in Martin Koboekae's Biko: Where the Soul Resides.

In this Market Theatre production, written by Koboekae and directed by Walter Chakela, Motsepe will bring to life the ordinary life of Ramphele, who was the girlfriend of black consciousness leader Steve Biko at the height of political turmoil in the country in the 1960s.

Motsepe says though she finds the role challenging, she is up to the task.

She told Sowetan during rehearsal break at the Market Theatre yesterday: "The challenge is that I have to bring to life this freedom icon's life as an ordinary person before she became who we now know her to be: an academic and successful businesswoman. In this role it is too easy to act who she became and what we know her for instead of who she actually was before all this. That is the challenge I am facing in this role."

She left Isidingo about two years ago and has since been concentrating on writing and theatre - where she began before the television limelight.

Biko: Where the Soul Resides will start its season on May 20 and runs until June 13.

The play explores Biko's life from 1968 when he led the South African Student Organisation, an all-black organisation that broke away from the white-controlled National Union of South African Students .

The play ends with his death in a police cell in September 1977.

The play captures some important aspects of Biko's political and social activism without ignoring his life as an ordinary man.

Poet Masoja Msiza plays Biko.

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