Mpho Sibeko on playing a pastor from hell: I am ready for the backlash
Former Gold Diggers and Rhythm City star Mpho Sibeko has slammed those who use religion to prey on the vulnerable, telling TshisaLIVE people need to make better decisions on who they trust.
The star recently joined the cast of Scandal!, where he will play the role of a charming young pastor, Samson Ngema, who wreaks havoc on the show.
The nephew of Mlungisi Ngema (Patrick Mofokeng), Samson is spiritual but alsohas a dark side and starts influencing others to get his own way.
Mpho told TshisaLIVE that his character would touch a nerve in a time when pastors are making headlines.
"It touches on a lot of what is happening at the moment. It touches on who you can trust. Too many religious leaders are preying on vulnerable people and I hope people understand that they need to make better decisions on who they put all their trust in. Religion is a pool of hope, we can't have people take advantage of that."
Mpho will make his debut as the country continues to be gripped by the rape trial involving televangelist Timothy Omotoso.
Omotoso and his two co-accused Lusanda Sulani (36) and Zukiswa Sitho (28) face 97 charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault and rape of female congregants in Omotoso's Durban-based church.
Mpho said he was ready for whatever backlash came his way from people who thought his character was similar to Omotoso.
"He starts out as quite a loveable man, but I have had moments where I have read the scenes that I have had to play and thought; 'Is this really what you want to do, Mpho?' There are scenes that went against my morals, but I am willing to be a blank canvas for this role and tell a story.
"I am nervous to see the reaction. Who knows? Maybe in the future I will have to get security or be attacked by little old ladies, but I am ready for the backlash."
He said he spent a lot of time trying to get into a space to play the role convincingly.
"I need to find the comfort in the discomfort. I need to tell this story. I have to deal with it and because of that, people will hate him. But as long as I have engaged you on that kind of level, where I have drawn you in emotionally, I have done my job."