He is a no-nonsense, tough-talking politician as well as a star of the small screen.
Q. This week, Celeb Edition puts the spotlight on actor-cum-politician, 60-year-old John Mazabathi Mokandla.Briefly summarise your acting career and how it all started?
I started my acting career back in 2004, I think with the series ‘Re bina Mmogo’ which became very popular.
How they spotted me is a sort of run in on luck story because I was at a political rally when they came to me asking that I help them with an advert.
From ‘Re bina mmogo’ I starred in ‘Life is a diamond’, ‘O bone o ja sereto’, ‘Ntwakgolo’, ‘A United Kingdom’ and other small roles.
Q. Of the various roles you have played, which would say is closest to your heart?
All the characters are close to my heart but I think I liked the part I played on ‘O bone o ja sereto’.
It depicted real life issues that I grew up with.
I was acting as an old man by the name of Rra Leru and it was really exciting on set.
Q. Was acting your preferred career choice?
Not really but I remember I loved watching movies when growing up.
Back then we did not have the luxury of portable TV sets so we watched movies with projectors and that was one of my favorite past times.
I have never been to acting school or anything – I guess it’s just talent and the passion I had that got me here.
Q. Who is your role model?
Denzel Washington, definitely!
Q. Your favorite movie?
‘The Eagle has Landed’.
Q. Who is your celebrity crush?
Ntsoro (Joel Keitumele).
He is the only one really (laughing).
Q. If you could choose a superpower what would it be?
I would spy on people.
I like to know what people think and how.
Q. Have you ever been in a street fight?
Of course, a lot of times.
Especially when I was younger we fought physically at the Bontleng grounds mostly.
I remember one time I was at the Bontleng shops at some political rally and we really got into it with our political rivals.
Q. Who would you say has been your preferred President of Botswana?
Definitely SKI, Former President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Q. Five things people don’t know about you?
- I used to be a taxi driver
- I used to be quite the football star, I actually played for Township Rollers FC at one point
- I was a petrol attendant at some point
- I am quite the Christian
- I am a really bad cook