Last Sunday Oros Mampofu found himself under the spotlight following a passionate on screen kiss in the local drama Igazi
He plays the role of Phila, a gay young man in the Mzansi Magic drama.
On Sunday, viewers witnessed Phila sharing an intimate moment with his boyfriend which ended with a passionate kiss.
The smooch sent social media in a tailspin and brought focus on his sexuality into sharp focus. The gay community on Twitter even went on to say they are ready for a local gay series.
However Mampofu, 24, is not fazed, telling Sowetan Live that he was doing it for the craft that he loves with his heart and soul and won’t think twice about playing a homosexual character again.
Preparing for the scene, Mampofu said as an artist, it was more of representing people in society, voicing out their inner unheard voices and understanding who they were and the conflicts they face.
“I did my research in respect of the subject and I was knowledgeable of what was expected of me and my character from a selfless level. I built the character based on the information that was at my disposal to portray the best image of the gay community.”
He does admit, however, that playing that scene was a big task for him. “Stepping towards that task, I didn’t think I could do it. It was overwhelming with thoughts of how people will receive it but amazingly, I even got calls from people I went with to high school complementing my craft.”
“I realised that as actors, it’s our obligation to evoke subjects that our peers and the elderly are reluctant to create dialogue on, it’s our duty to express those concerns and issues so that we evolve.”
On his sexuality, Mampofu goes philosophical.
“Personally for me, I’d like to not have this open for discussion due to certain reasons but it’s yet to be confirmed. Right now, I’m focused on my future. It was important for me to represent the character I had developed in the purest way I saw possibly without giving too much or too little. This is what I believe I did for Phila and South Africa.”
Mampofu remarked that the South African audience had matured to embrace a topic that is seen as taboo in many African societies.
“Yes social media may have had its take with the scene but I haven’t had anyone to negatively approach me about the character I play or the kiss.”
He believes that local productions are doing a great job representing minorities and communities in South Africa.
“I believe there’s room for growth, and room for every community to be represented, to break stereotypes and to bring into realisation that, people are humans before their sexual preferences.”
Mampofu hinted that he was working on an “exciting big production” towards the end of the year and he also has #RunningWithOros #RWO which is more than just a hashtag, it seeks to redefine ideas of being young and innovative.