Lerato Maimela
Digital Journalist
5 minute read
27 Sep 2021
6:13 pm

‘Live a life filled with purpose’: Refilwe Modiselle in new digi-series

Lerato Maimela

Refilwe says that her house executive, childhood friend, and manager are the people who have shaped her into becoming the woman she is today.

Award winning international actress. Refilwe Modiselle. Picture: Supplied

Metropolitan’s first episode of a digi-series, “My People My Everything“, aired for the first time on Wednesday, and it featured well-known personality Refilwe Modiselle. She reflected on her journey in her career and acknowledged the people who have been her everything on this journey.

“The digi-series is [a] powerful sentiment that acknowledges those in our circle who have a positive influence on our lives,” said Metropolitan. ​

The Citizen got the chance to talk to the television personality about her career, her episode of the digi-series, as well as her upbringing.

Refilwe Modiselle Q&A:

Q. Can you give us some insight on the digi-series?

A. The campaign is around the celebration of the fact that the certain personalities that I looked up to find that they have certain people in their lives who are very instrumental in building the people that they become. This is just a glimpse of my little world outside of the family. The people that have really contributed to my life in such a big way and that I pay homage to in being catalysts to build Refilwe.

Q. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career? Who is Refilwe Modiselle?

A. Refilwe Modiselle is essentially known as Africa’s first successful model with albinism, but essentially I have moved on to other disciplines in my life. I am a TV host. I am an MC. I am a speaker and an activist. Now, two-time award-winning international actress for the international short film White Gold. On a bigger scope, I am just a visionary. I am a woman with a very big mission.

Q. We know that you come from Soweto. How do you think being a Sowetan has shaped the brilliant television personality you are today?

A. I only spent the first four years of my life in Soweto, but obviously, that plays a role. I grew up in my grandmother’s house, and I think being a person with albinism in a predominantly black community, a lot of people had thought that would have been the detriment of what my personality would have been like, and I am the complete opposite. I am out there. I am the life of the party and a big personality type of person.

I think Soweto gave me a grounding because that is home. Ke kasi. It’s not the [suburbs], and you know the burbs add a certain status and people get a big head about where they are from. I think for me it has never actually been that, kasi is home. It is where my grandparents were, and I guess it kind of gave me the grounding I needed in life to become the person that I needed to be.

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Q. What were your feelings on being the first special guest on the first episode of the “My People My Everything” digi-series?

A. In all honesty it was mind-blowing for me. I think the first time when the email came through I didn’t understand the magnitude of what it is that I was about to do, and this always happens. For me, everything is work. But until I started processing it I was like ‘oh darn’. This is actually quite big. This is huge. This is a long-standing brand that is saying, ‘we want to give you your roses while you are still alive. Please can we do that? We respect the person that you are’.”

Q. What do you get up to in your free time?

A. In my spare time if it wasn’t for Covid I would go out to dinners with friends, but I’m a very to myself person. I am a couch baby. I chill by myself with absolutely no company, and watch television and just be a bum. Also to just recoup and rejuvenate. Just to get some time out.

But I love spending time with my friends. Just visiting, we sit, we chill and we have lunch. But I don’t do anything hectic, I am a very relaxed person, contrary to my personality.

Q. What do you hope your episode of the digi-series will evoke in the viewers?

A. A lot of light. A lot of love. A lot of introspection. A newfound sense of respect for the people that absolutely do not know who I am because we come from a maybe complete generation. Ma 200 wouldn’t necessarily relate entirely, but I hope it evokes all of the beautiful emotions of the love and the light that I carry.

I hope it reminds people of loving those people that are close to them and keeping them so dear. I hope that the campaign brings in new energy to also see me in possibly a different light.

Q. Any advice for the younger generation who would love to become successful, award-winning television personalities?

A. It’s definitely to be authentic. Don’t try to be a copycat. Your biggest stars have had their own journeys. Don’t want to be somebody else. Take inspiration from them, but understand your own journey. Understand your sense of self and which direction you are going to take. Live a life that is filled with purpose, because that is essentially going to give you a direction as to where it is that you will need to lead your life.