Actress and businesswoman Gail Mabalane (32) took a two-year break from TV screens to connect with herself and spend some quality time with her family.
“I honestly didn’t even realise that it’s been two years. I have an eight-month-old baby, Khumo, so I spent the first year expecting my baby and gave birth in January this year. Sometimes a break is much needed,” said the beautiful, bubbly actress.
The mother of two, Zoe (3) and Khumo, who has been married to kwaito star Kabelo “Bouga Luv” for five years, told City Press this week that being a mother is the best role and she wouldn’t mind playing it every day.
“This role has contributed so much to my growth as a person. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be a mom; it’s a blessing I don’t take for granted,” she said.
But she did concede that motherhood is tough – from having less time for herself and not getting the amount of sleep she was able to in her 20s.
“It has challenged me in many ways I’ve never been challenged before. But I would not have it any other way. I look back and marvel at how it has given me perspective.”
But, through it all, it’s her family that keeps her going.
So, when she took some time off from the small screen, she also dedicated her time to grow her beauty and personal care products called Body Language, launched four years ago.
On her return to TV, Gail Mabalane will star as Kelebogile Mokoena – a “trophy wife” to one of the twins, Gary Mokoena, in the second season of The Imposter. Picture: Debbie Yazbek
But, now that the break is over, she is back to do what she does best – acting.
Mabalane will star as Kelebogile Mokoena – a “trophy wife” to one of the twins, Gary Mokoena, in the second season of The Imposter.
She admits it was challenging playing Kelebogile because emotionally the character took her to places to which she has never been. The popular drama series kicked off on Sunday on DStv Channel 161 at 8pm.
So how do you get into character?
“I started working with an incredible acting coach when I first started in the industry eight years ago. I still work with her and she has been one of the biggest contributors to my craft,” she said.
What also helped her to prepare for this role were her real-life experiences – her biggest assets.
“Also engaging with other women and their experiences helped me a lot. Through this character, I’ve discovered that any woman, including myself will, at some point, be able to relate to Kele. As women, we have been exposed to some form of abuse whether [verbal, emotional and physical] from people who are close to us,” she said.
A lesson learnt from portraying Kele is that:
we are often pressured by the expectations that society, friends, family, partners have and through that we are almost bullied into [being] who and what we are not
Things have started to open up for her since being back in the showbiz industry. Three months ago she was announced as the ambassador of the disposable nappy brand, Huggies. This collaboration came at the right time and, she said, it was very special to her, because “I’m able to connect with other mums from different walks of life”.
“I’ve grown up knowing of the brand and seeing it used by many around me. I have been passionate about connecting with women on a real and authentic level.”
When asked to give us the recipe for a successful marriage she said: “I’m still a baby and forever open to learning. I don’t think that there is a specific ‘one-size-fits-all formula’ to a successful marriage. There certainly are some principles one can apply, such as mutual respect, love and making time for each other. I think every married couple should strive to find the formula that works for them and work it.”