Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Genevieve Vieira
3 minute read
31 Aug 2015
11:05 am

Maps speaks about Tell Me Sweet Something

Genevieve Vieira

The film industry in South Africa is booming.

Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha in Tell me Sweet Something. Picture: Supplied.

Locals are finally coming into their own, experimenting with different film genres, story ideas and breaking away from the clichéd telling of struggle – violence, apartheid, and suffering. While such films certainly have a rightful place in society, the arts should not be limited by them. We, as a nation, have become defined by our past, but it doesn’t have to govern who we are. A closer look at society reveals our true humanity as people in need of life’s most simple treasures – love, laughter, family, friends and romance.

When Akin Omotoso, still a student at the time, saw the classic African-American love story Love Jones in 1997, he promised himself one day he would make a film like that. Fast-forward to 2015.

Tell Me Sweet Something is a delightful romantic comedy, starring Nomzamo Mbatha and Maps Maponyane as unlikely lovers. It shares a uniquely South African story about an aspiring novelist, Moratiwa (Mbatha), with writer’s block.

Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha in Tell me Sweet Something. Picture: Supplied.

Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha in Tell me Sweet Something. Picture: Supplied.

She hasn’t had much luck with love either, but things are about to change. A spur-of-the-moment outing puts her face-to-face with celebrity model Nat Masilo (Maponyane). The two are magic on screen, both charming and funny. Off -screen they share the same amicable spirit seen in the film, regularly exchanging compliments and poking fun at each other.

“I’m a hopeless romantic,” says Maponyane. Growing up “the nerd” – as he calls himself – Maponyane comes clean: “I was captain of the friend zone. I was the guy girls would talk to so they could get close to the popular guys.

“And the reason I think girls came to me is because immediately I come off as a person who is willing to listen and wants to know what you’re all about,” a character trait he blames (gratefully so) on his mom.

“When I was growing up, my mom and I were very close. She wanted one boy, one girl. She had my brother and then she had me.

I was the last-born and she didn’t have a girl, so I assumed that role. We went shopping together, tolunches together and I’d help her dress up for work. I really loathedit when I was young, but subconsciously I was consuming all this information. I witnessed women crying about their husbands and how the time of the month is affecting them, and how they hated being treated a certain way, and how they wish men would do this or that.”

Wanting to break the stereotype, Maponyane dreamt of being a different kind of man, seeking to fulfill women’s deepest, darkest needs. “I think it’s important for men to put in an effort to find out what women are about and what they are interested in,” he says. “Now I can pretty much wax lyrical about any female subject because of that exposure and be happily interested in it.”