Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho


Thuli Thabethe steps in to fulfil Busi Lurayi’s final act on Scandal!

Busi Lurayi wasn’t able to complete her eTV Scandal! storyline and her long time friend, Thuli Thabethe, will step in as her understudy.

From 2 September onwards, Scandal! Viewers may find themselves feeling a little emotional when actress Busi Lurayi appears on their screens in the role of Me’Shell.

Scandal! and eTV announced that Busi would briefly be appearing on the show and that her friend, Thuli Thabethe, would be stepping in at a later stage to see the character’s storyline out. 

The Multi-award-winning actress joined the eTV soapie for what has been dubbed “her last curtain call”. 

She came onboard to play the character of  Me’shell, a long-time friend of Layla McKenzie.

“Busi was a renowned actress with a career spanning over two decades and Scandal! was delighted to have her join the show to bring to life the character of Me’Shell,” said the channel in a statement. 

Me’Shell is the housewife to a wealthy businessman who is on the hunt for “extra-curricular activities”. 

According to eTV, she then stumbles across a personal trainer CJ, played by Thulani Hlatshwayo. CJ, being young and vibrant, seems to catch Me’Shell’s attention and she offers to pay him a handsome amount to satisfy her other needs.  

CJ initially refuses Me’Shell’s advances, but later gives into her charms. Things soon take a turn for the worst when Me’Shell’s bodyguard finds her and CJ in a compromising position. 

Sadly, Busi Lurayi was unable to see the character’s storyline through after she tragically passed on 10 July earlier this year. 

“At eTV Scandal! we were shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Busisiwe Lurayi. Busi was midstream in the portrayal of the cougar housewife who pays her fitness trainer CJ, for additional training on the side!” explained the channel.

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“She embraced the role, was doing an amazing job, and was extremely professional to work with. Her untimely passing left the story incomplete and we were keen to present her final work to audiences of Scandal! We are grateful to the Lurayi family for supporting our request” added Sanele Zulu, Scandal! series producer.

And that is where Busi’s close friend and fellow actress, Thuli Thabethe comes in. 

Thabethe agreed to take over Me’Shell’s remaining scenes which will be seen later in September. 

“We reached out to her close friend Thuli Thabethe to see the story through. This was a big ask but Thuli accepted it with great compassion and she did a great job with the remaining scenes. We are grateful to Thuli Thabethe for her support and together we were able to see the story through” explained Zulu.

“It is also an honour to be an understudy to such a prolific, talented artist. Busi became the character, I always said, the rest of us would put in work and act but she would become the character. 

Stepping into the character of Me’Shell who had been played by Busi, I know that I would have big shoes to fill. I am thankful for the opportunity from Scandal! and eTV for entrusting in my ability to continue with the work she started. I am honoured and blessed,” said Thabethe.

The decision to cast Thabethe as Lurayi’s understudy has been praised as a fitting one considering the fact that both women once played the role of the beloved Phumzile on the SABC1 sitcom, City Ses’la and the spin off, Ses’top La

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