Five Minutes with Bohang Moeko
For actor Bohang Moeko playing the role of Lunga in the latest South African Netflix production is a dream come true. Seriously Single, the recently released rom-com, gives a local spin on the highs and lows of dating in modern-day Johannesburg.
We caught up with Moeko to find out about his humble beginnings as an actor, his thoughts on the filming of Seriously Single and a burning question on everybody’s mind right now: how seriously single is he?
Tell me about the filming of Seriously Single. What was the vibe like on set and how did you experience the process of filming?
A: The cast and crew were amazing. It was genuine, it was authentic. We all got along well as a cast and it was great to work with people who are energetic and passionate about filmmaking. We all had a great time.
What was it that interested you in getting involved with the movie to start with?
A: For me it was the opportunity to branch into comedy. I have never done any comedy before this – everything else was drama. This presented an opportunity to do comedy so I jumped on it and it worked out well.
Would you do more comedy in the future?
A: Definitely, I really want to do more comedy. I’ve always loved the genre and it’s something that I would love to improve on it because comedy is a very tricky thing to get right.
Do you think the movie offers any social commentary when it comes to love in 2020?
A: Definitely. It’s a great look at life, love, relationships, friendships and the modern dating world – not just in Johannesburg but across the world. That’s why people have been able to relate to it so well across the world – it speaks to so many people who are going through the same thing or have gone through the same thing.
And what are some of the negative aspects of the dating world that we could change?
A: I honestly think that people have to go through their own journeys and find themselves. It’s hard to tell people what they should do. People have to live their own journey and experience their own lives in their own way and then learn their lessons from that. Seriously Single shows a group of people who go through their own unique journeys and learn their own lessons. It’s a beautiful story. A big theme that Seriously Single speaks to is self-love. I think that is a big thing. Self-awareness and loving yourself – it’s something that we can all improve on.
You play Lunga in the movie. How similar are you to him in real life?
A: There are similarities that I could draw from him.Certainly a few years ago in my mid-20s I was Lunga to some extent so I could relate to him on that level. This character specifically is very relatable and many guys around the world can relate to him. It’s great to play a character that people can relate to.
Are you Seriously Single in real life?
A: That’s actually the first time in my whole life I’ve been asked that question. People just assume I’m single but I’m not single. I’m seriously not single.
Why did you decide to become an actor?
A: I was working as a quantity surveyor and I was miserable. I joined an acting class and in that very first acting class something came alive in me that I never felt before – I couldn’t describe it. It was just a feeling of coming alive, of belonging, of knowing that this is what I’m supposed to be doing so I made the difficult decision to leave my work. It was a hard decision because I had been working for a couple of years. I had my own car and my own apartment and me leaving my job meant that I wouldn’t be able to afford any of those things anymore and I would have to depend on my parents. It was a hard decision but it had to be done.
What was your break into the industry?
I signed with an agent in Johannesburg and I literally auditioned for anything and everything I could for about 8, 9 months and didn’t book a single thing. I stopped counting the auditions I went to after I reached 100. Eventfully my first job was on a show called Zabalaza [in 2013]. That was my first job in the industry and doors started opening from then.
What are your words of encouragement for anyone thinking of doing something similar but that are unsure of whether or not they should take such a big risk?
A: It’s simple. You’ve got to be sure that it’s what you want. You have to be sure that it’s what you’re passionate about and what you’re willing to work hard for because it didn’t come easy – there was a lot of rejection. You have to be willing to take the risk but it has to be a calculated risk as well. But I think the most important thing is to make sure that what you’re going into is something that you’re passionate about and that you know for sure you’ll never give up until you succeed at it.
What does it mean for your career to be involved in the making of a Netflix movie?
A: The fact that Seriously Single is on Netflix which is a global platform that is available in 190 countries across the globe is incredible. For me personally it means that my work is now on a global platform and people globally can be impacted and see my work. That’s a dream come true and it’s something that I want to keep doing. I want to keep telling authentic African stories that are put on a global platform for people to enjoy.
What’s next for you?
A: I’m looking forward to doing a lot more work that is put on a global platform. Again, Netflix allows that so it will be great to work with them moving forward. So that’s what I hope for. Local productions – I do have one coming up but I can’t say much about it as yet. For now what you should do is just enjoy Seriously Single.