SOUTH AFRICA is full of child- headed families, so it is no wonder many can relate to Mapula in Rhythm City.

Mapula is a 14-year-old girl who was left by her mother at the age of 11, in charge of her two siblings.

She got shelter from her high school drop-out cousin, Sabelo, and now she has to play the adult in the house – and still concentrate on her schoolwork.

Mapula is played by actress Mapula Mafole. Mzansi got to see her in 2012 on Intersexions, which was her first TV role.

At the time Mapula was still a student at AFDA; soon she was getting small roles here and there. She graduated in 2013, and now she has her first role in a soapie.

Rhythm City has given me a chance to grow as an actress. I’ve been challenged more than I have ever been in my career. And it’s a blessing just to come to the set every day because it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long!
A blessing for me,” she said.

Child-headed families are just one of the social ills facing South Africa. And playing a role that focuses the spotlight on such problems can’t be easy. But Mapula makes it seem simple.

Mapula the character gets other characters to respond to her with different emotions. And Mapula the actress says that it’s important for a performer to make people believe in her.

“There’s a lot that goes into acting. And I’ve learnt that as an actor you need to understand that you are telling people stories.

“You need to be convincing,” she said in a recent chat on

  • Catch Mapula in Rhythm City weekdays at 7pm on

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