Asked & Answered : Lerato Motshwarakgole

16 Dec

Lerato Motshwarakgole is hot in more ways than there are to to get burnt. Looks, humor, talent and madness even. Monsieur Polk debated for a little bit if he should even let this kitten out the bag because its not every day you come across legends before they know it. Trust me, I may not be the first to say it but she has all the markings… I know because I checked. Now you check it; Lerato Motshwarakgole, Asked and oh so Answered.

Lerato, as a trained actress type human being do you mind telling us what is it that acting teaches a person? Empathy. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes.

Was acting always your choice of career? When I was young I remember I wanted to be everything…a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist…then at some point I realized I actually just wanted to portray these occupations…to ac them out! But it was only until I reached High School that I learnt that this is an actual skill that could be studied. What made me really want to study it was how therapeutic acting was to me. Growing up I was paralytically shy, for a long time the only people I spoke to were my parents and my sister. Acting somewhat cured/relieved me of that, because I lived in my head for so long. I had now found a way to channel my thoughts whilst ‘pretending’ I was someone else. Lol!

You are hooked up with South African super agent Moonyeenn Lee (Dragon Lady in reality show Class Act) how did you swing that? LOL! She’s the sweetest lady ever, a 2nd mother to me. Moon cast me in a BBC programme, Silent Witness, whilst I was still in varsity. She’s really the one who encouraged me to spread my wings and give film a try (which is a very different medium to Theatre). She really believes in me, and we have a lovely, honest relationship. Something I really cherish in this tough industry.

If you had to change your name for your acting career what name would you pick? Once or twice I was asked if I’m going to change my surname (It’s 14 letters of layered consonants!)…My mother jokingly suggested I take my father’s first name Johnson…but we all eventually agreed that that is never going to happen! People are going to have to learn to pronounce it.

Who does it better stage or screen actors? Stage. Absolutely.

Oh really…? Why is that? The spontaneity of an actor’s choices on stage is electrifying. It requires a level of discipline, skill and focus that surpasses that of the screen.

So the world is ending (in a script) and you are the Hero, what would be the super power you use to save the world? Laughter! LOL…honestly people must just laugh it off!

Daddy dearest deals with real life and death issues in terms of people’s livelihoods, how has this inspired you in your craft… if at all? It has added an authenticity and honesty to my life and to my acting that I doubt I would have had had he been a banker or something. I was raised by a father who absolutely loves what he does. So growing up I realised that happiness truly lies in loving what you do for a living.

Tell us one thing that only your South African friends know… go on. I have yet to perform at home, so only SA friends and colleagues are aware of my nazi-esque work ethic. Lol. I could rehearse all day! No food, no water! LOL!

You are actually an award winning stage actress, really, do you have a favourite award and why? My Yvonne Banning Award. It’s quite a shiny trophy (lol), but besides that it means a lot to me because it’s in honour of arguably South Africa’s greatest voice coach, and a woman I had the honour of being coached by for 3 years. The Kanna Awards received for ‘Lot’ were also awesome. It was a tough play to put together and perform, especially because my character rides a horse in the play. It’s a visually breathtaking image but you can imagine how hard is it puling that off every night in front of a big audience.


Coming from Botswana a country with so much to offer artistically but no support system, what do you think needs to be done to realise this artistic potential? Follow the footsteps of Batswana who have made it…DJ Fresh, Connie and Shona Ferguson….travel, expand your horizons but always come back home and help uplift your community. I can’t stress that enough. Artists all over the world are on their own, Botswana is no different. Go to where the need is.

On Twitter you are so not the same Tiger as on the streets, is your Twitter self a character to a certain extent? The people who know me know that what I am on Twitter is how I am in real life. I am my father’s child, through and through. Twitter also represents about only 20% of my actual life and thoughts (the socio-political side). You hardly ever see personal tweets about my private life or whereabouts.

For those that do not know but would like to know… who is Baby Tiger? LOL! You are going to have to ask her.

We are now in the future, you are 50 years old, what is your greatest achievement? Professionally, hopefully by then I will be Botswana’s Minister of Arts and Culture.

What is it about alcohol that many people don’t seem to know? It makes one look/smell really horrible *hides*

Cape Town has many different sides to her, which is your favourite side and why? The audacious side. You can be anything you want to be in Cape Town!

You are now in Jozi, what is the last thing you miss about Cape Town? The racial segregation.

Describe Jozi in three places. Market Theatre, Orlando West, Sandton

What are you soon to be working in? 2012 is going to be a busy year. The first international movie I shot comes out end of the year (that’s all I can say for now). Performing two plays at The State Theatre in Pretoria and Artscape in Cape Town. Also doing ‘Infecting the City’ in Cape Town and ‘KKNK’.

When you get home (in Botswana) what is the first thing you do? Plot and plan. A lot of my work and dreams are in Botswana.

When you get home (in your apartment) what is the first thing you do? Read emails. Bleh!

Whats the difference between acting and modelling…? I ask because so many models become actors, and many actors become models. You get what is called character models, basically what you see in your beauty ads etc. It is also considered acting just not as intense. We are in an industry were one needs to exploit as many avenues as they can in order to grow and survive. So if you are tall, beautiful and can act then you are set!

Last one, which artist from Botswana should we keep an eye out for? 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Award recipient Bokani Dyer. He is a breathtaking Jazz pianist. He also graduated from UCT and I attended M-A-P with him. He inspires me a lot.

OK, one last-last one, you get an opportunity to create a performance for H.E. What would you call it, how would it go and what would it be about? It would definitely be a Pieter Dirk-Uys esque political satire. A critical, honest reflection of where we are as a country sugar-coated with a few witty, comedic lines. I have no clue what I would call it!

Pics – Petra Rolinec @8ties Baby

One Response to “Asked & Answered : Lerato Motshwarakgole”


  1. Lerato Motshwarakgole: Impacting Communities with Performance Art | cofoundHER - May 15, 2015

    […] To find out more about LM Consulting and the entrepreneur behind it, follow Lerato on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. **Quote credit: Monsieur Polk. […]

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