Matshepo Maleme on longevity: I don't succumb to cliques
In an industry where an entourage is held in high regard, actress Matshepo Maleme has used a different strategy to navigate popularity and insists it has contributed to her longevity as an actor.
Matshepo told TshisaLIVE how organic relationships are always better in an industry that tends to harbour people with "ulterior motives".
"I don't succumb to cliques. I can't have that kind of pressure. My friendships have to be natural or really meaningful with people who share my vision, especially spiritually. The energy has to feel right and I think that has helped me not lose who I am in this often chaotic industry."
Having had her first big break in 2004, the actress said longevity is sustained by talent and hard work. She said her job is already to "pretend to be someone else" and she couldn't afford to compromise on her real-life identity by trying to fit into cliques.
"Funny enough, I don't really have a lot of close friends in the industry. The word friends is used very loosely, and without playing anybody down, I have a lot of colleagues and people I respect."
She mentioned people like Sindi Dlathu, whom she says despite not talking to "all the time," remain constant confidants in her life.
Despite the frustrations that accompany dry spells in the acting industry, which most actors always complain about, Matshepo said she's learnt from experience to use the time to evaluate her growth as an artist.
She added that although it might not feel that way, being "jobless" is sometimes a blessing, as it allows introspection.
"Look, you get frustrated when you keep going at something and it doesn't materialise, but for me that is when I stop and reflect. I check what this could mean for me, like working on my craft, checking my spirit and building that hunger to succeed when I do get the role."