PapiNiceTingz gets his television break on telenovela The River
The 22-year-old from Soshanguve says it is a dream come true
Social media sensation Atlegang Songo, popularly known as PapiNiceTingz, is making his acting debut on The River – which is a life-long dream come true.
The 22-year-old from Soshanguve, Pretoria, has garnered viral fame in the last year or so on TikTok and Instagram with his comedic skits, often slipping into character with various alter egos in drag.
For Songo, TV acting has always been the end-game, first launching his skits in 2019 as a strategy to garner the attention of producers and casting directors.
“The last time I spoke to you, about a year ago, I mentioned that landing a TV acting gig was one of my goals for the next couple of years, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so soon,” Songo told Sowetan.
“I can’t believe that this is finally coming true. I’ve dreamt about this for way too long. I must admit, this feeling is quite foreign to me... so unreal... the feeling of knowing that I will be on TV for the very first time.
“The most mind-blowing thing about this whole thing is that I get to be on SA’s most popular telenovela – this supersedes my expectations.”
Songo will make his debut later this month, appearing as a cousin to one of the most-loved characters, who is set to make a big comeback on the show.
“The casting director reached out to me and asked me to send through a self-tape with a synopsis of a character and plot, I then sent him back my audition tape... days later I received a call from him saying I got the role,” Songo said.
“When they sent me the script, that’s when I knew all of this was truly happening. I can’t say much about the role but one thing I know is that people are going to love him... he is more like me, which was easy to act out.”
Songo admitted that being on set of a big production was a departure from his social media recordings.
“One of the challenges that I faced was exchanging dialogue with my cousin on the show, I can’t mention who it is as he or she is also a surprise return. He or she helped guide and show me how to flow with my lines and deliver through with my acting,” he said.
“I am used to video recording and directing myself, so when the director said: ‘Cut, it’s a scene’... I would get confused about whether he meant ‘cut, it’s a scene’ because my acting is good or whether it’s bad.”
Songo hopes to further his filmmaking career and possibly be a screenwriter one day.
“I am one person who dreams big, I never limit myself. I would one day like to play a villain in an action movie. The reason is that I want to shy away from anything funny,” he said.
“I want to challenge myself with such a role so that people can see that I can be serious and I do take the acting skill set seriously.”
Songo’s five-year plan is to appear in a production by American actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry. He also wants to act alongside his biggest acting heroes Moshidi Motshegwa and Connie Ferguson.
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