Refilwe Madumo, an actress of remarkable note, recently featured as a lead character in an acclaimed SABC miniseries,'Side Dish'. She is also known for her role in a daily drama series, ETV's 'Scandal'. Her journey in the world of entertainment was seeded as a buddying performer when she turned nine years old.
She is currently completing her Masters in Performing Arts. Her ultimate focus is on creating avenues for young women to discover their voices. She is the commissioning editor for Soul City Rise magazine
“My passion for storytelling is a tool to create visionary pathways for people to reflect on their personal soul journeys in this lifetime.” Refilwe Madumo
Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
I am a story-teller. I have always been a story-teller. The ability to weave a reality together – from words on paper and bring it to life – is my greatest gift. Stories are how people make sense of the world.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I knew I wanted to be an actress very early. I used to watch Sarafina every day after school and practice the lines and choreography.
I come from Taung, a village in the North West, where nothing ever happens. The only things that I was sure about were my dreams.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
The fact that it has the potential to change people’s lives. To help them have difficult conversations and see better versions of themselves. I can’t tell you how many people I meet who related to the different roles I’ve played for different reasons. It’s the greatest affirmation of my work.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
I’m lucky enough to have only worked for passion. I can only do things that set my soul on fire. I’ve been lucky enough to create a life with my creative currency.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
Backstage 2004. It was a very small fee, I think probably 2 thousand rands, but I was so proud that there was a possibility to make money doing what I love.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
I’ve tried to do other things but I’ve found it unfulfilling. It’s weird to say, but creative work is like a calling. You could try to run away from it but if it is yours, there is nothing you can do to escape it.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
My kids. I have 2 sons, Makhosini and Malibuye. I wish my jobs sustained their lives more. That’s what pushes me. To ensure that they want for nothing.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
I don’t think about them. My journey is my own. I don’t do what I do for anybody else.
What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?
Only do this kind of work if you love it. If it is your truest passion, you will be able to come back to it over and over again, no matter how many times it breaks your heart. It’s all worth it if it fulfills you, not just materially, but spiritually too.