I spent time getting cosy with Warren Masemola at the Tjovitjo launch just before the show premiered and this is what I discovered about him:
- He bought his gloves at a thrift shop in Paris.
- He spends his downtime with his family and friends.
- He has the same circle of friends that he had when he was at drama school.
- His voice is as deeply intriguing as it is when you hear him on TV and you can't pin down his accent.
- Mafred is his favourite role out of all the roles he's played. He explains why:
Warren: Mafred is the one. He's actually the ultimate. I had to challenge myself in every angle as a performer or actor.
Emotionally, physically, language, dance because I used to dance when I was young but now I had to train again so dance as well.
It was the most difficult and the locations we were shooting at - it was mainly in the open. It was very challenging to shoot with poverty right in front of you.
I witness poverty every day but where we were shooting (at Crown Mines), the poverty is more intense and the hygiene is terrible and horrible.
Sometimes I would be emotional because of what I see or when I leave my house... leaving my house and going to set and knowing where I'm going and then still needing to perform and learn dialogue - it was very challenging on every level.
We would shoot in a bush and that's the bush they probably use to take a number 2 and we jump over those mountains or heaps of faeces to bring a story.
I tried to borrow a dialect of North Sotho (Selobedu). For a couple of characters that I've played I've used the language North Sotho so I was trying to bring a different dialect of North Sotho because there are more than four or five.
I was trying to showcase something different because that's how I challenge myself with the work that I do, I always try to challenge myself to bring something fresh and more real and nothing I've done before.
Tashi: Has your life changed over the past few years when you go out?
Warren: It has changed in a sense, like if I have to go for grocery shopping or if I have to go shopping with my mom when I visit her back home then people will be like, "Ai, it's that guy from TV".
It's really interesting that they don't call me by one character name so you'll have three different people saying hello and they all love me for three different characters so that's where I get it.
I'm hardly out or I'm always at work or with my family so when I go to the shops that's when I interact with people and they show me love.
Tashi: Do they ask you for selfies or autographs?
Warren: They ask for selfies, hardly autographs. You know, the integration of cameras into cell phones, it's even taken some of the media journalists out of business because people just do it from their phones.