Q&A: Rami Chuene, actress

ramI-choeneRami Chuene is a South African Singer, Actress, Dancer, Mc and Voice Over Artist best known her role as Khomotjo on SABC2 soapie Muvhango.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Seshego. I’m all all-round entertainer. Im a mother of three girls: Kefiloe 21, Nthateng 19 and Botshelo 8.

What projects are you currently working on?
I have just released my debut album, From Fear To Love and at the moment I’m working on promoting it. Besides that, I’m a creative conceptualiser- meaning I bring creative solutions for corporate companies for their events, when they need to laugh or market a certain product or campaign. I’m also an MC and entertainer (singing with my band) for different functions, from private to mainstream corporate. And of course, I am a voice over artist.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I actually have a lot of people I admire for various reasons, which makes this a very difficult question. Besides my parents and my siblings; I admire the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. I think her tenacity and her fearlessness is what is needed in our country at the moment. I admire the way she wants to get to the truth and her selfless nature shows through her dedication to serve South Africa.

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng is another woman who comes to mind. Her passion for education and commitment to ensuring that black children conquer their fear for pure Maths is admirable. She works with various schools, take the youth on camps and workshops, hook them up with potential sponsors and programs to make sure they advance all the way to graduation. I think she is one woman who has pushed and produced a lot of graduates through her hard work. She’s also a giver, very witty, full of wisdom, fun to be with and has a body that 25year olds would kill for! These two women are very inspirational.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Oh no! I’ve never thought of that. But I think my 8 year old has pinned me down completely. if you give her another 10 years or so, she will nail the role. If i were to pick today though, I’d go with Nokuthuka Ledwaba.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I think I’m one of those boring people who have always known what they wanted to do. By the time I was eight I knew I wanted to be a performing artist.

What is the hardest role you ever played and why?
I don’t have one per se. I suppose it’s been a blessing to get roles that I easily fell in love with. But I know I was a horrible extra. I did it once, for one day and once only. At end of day I humbly told them I will not be returning. It might sound arrogant but it was not where I wanted to go. I wanted to act, deliver lines and not walk across to pan the camera to the lead actor.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Besides my family who won’t have a choice, I’d invite Thabo Mbeki, Joyce Banda, Winnie Mandela, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Will and Jada, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Trevor Noah, Gregory Porter, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Tina Turner, Chris Gardner, eish, the list is endless! And if death was not a factor, I’d invite Marvin Gaye, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Brenda Fassie, Michael Jackson, Miriam Makeba, Miles Davis, and and and….!

If you were not an actor, what profession would you choose to occupy?
I would have been a Formula 1 driver.

Who is your favorite actor?
I have too many favourites. I love Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Kevin Spacey, Clint Eastwood, Samuel L Jackson and many more. Here at home I love Manaka Ranaka, Vusi Kunene, Tony Kgoroge, Siya Thwala, Nthati Moshesh, Moshidi Motshegwa and Masasa Mbangeni, there’s so many though!

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to be an actor?
It’s not as easy as it looks. Dont try to be famous, just let your work speak for you. Never stop learning new things and rehearsing or going for workshops. Life is the best teacher if you want to be an actor and backed up with some education, you will never fizzle out. Go for greatness, fame will automatically follow. The greatest actors don’t do it for the fame, they do it for the love of art hence they have longevity. Fame will frustrate you, you will give up too soon because you want to be an overnight success. invest in yourself, take care of your body, guard your heart and know when to speak. Some things like bad publicity and rumours don’t deserve your time or response, just let it slide and focus on what you do best. It will be me today, then you tomorrow. Don’t get a hissy fit. It comes with the territory.

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