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Rhythm City’ Mamokete ‘I was forced to leave’

THE news of veteran actress, Connie Chiume’s sudden exit from the popular e.tv soapie came as a shock to her fans. Connie, who has played the role of ‘Mamokete Khuse’ since launched in 2007, says it was not her personal choice to leave the soapie.“I didn’t resign; the production company I work for came to the decision that my character is no longer relevant. I was told that they want the show to have younger actors,” she says.

She played an upstanding and moral woman who is everyone’s mother, loved by many viewers and her fellow cast members. Connie, who is also previously best known for her role as Stella Moloi in the SABC1 drama series Zone 14, spoke to Move! about her heartbreak after she found out that her contract on Rhythm City was ending.“I wasn’t ready or prepared to leave Rhythm City. It’s really not a good feeling to leave a place that you have been so comfortable with for so many years. When you have spent so much time with people they end up becoming more than just people, that you work with, but they become your family,” says the actress.

The star, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, reveals that she was told in October last year that her contract would not be renewed.“I would be lying if I say the process of me leaving Rhythm City was an ugly one. I was told well in advance by the producers,” says the award-winning actress.“ In most soapies, actors sign one year contracts. But we often get comfortable when our contracts are renewed and expect producers to keep our characters on the show for longer periods.”

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The actress says she has a passion for farming, although her first love will always be acting.“I believe that God gave me the talent to educate and entertain people through acting. The only time I will stop acting will probably be if I were to become disabled and not able to do anything,” says Connie.She says taking a break from acting will give her time to work Actress Connie Chiume says she will still focus on acting, but also wants to indulge in her longtime passion for farming on other projects that she has left undone due to her busy schedule.

“My business partners and I are planning to open an art and film school where people who want to study acting can come,” she says. “We have noticed that most art schools are expensive. There are so many people out there who would love to unleash that burning passion inside of them. As much as our target will be young people, our school will be open to everyone. We planned to open the school in June, but it looks like we have to postpone it until we get accreditation.”

The actress from Benoni, east of Johannesburg, says her 94-year-old mother has been her biggest fan and support through her career.“My mother is my friend; she is my everything. She is my biggest fan and critic at the same time,” giggles Connie.

Source : Move!

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