Rhythm City actress, Amogelang Chidi. “Being Reneilwe is not the only thing that I do you know,” she explains, grumbling that “all she needs is sleep!” In addition to being on a daily soapie, Amo still does children’s theatre, is a singer and also dabbles in the business of brand ambassadorship as the face of Flori Roberts, an international luxury cosmetics brand for “Women of Colour”.
For as long as she can remember, Amo has always wanted to be on stage. “But fame was never part of the plan,” reflects the 24 year old who already has well over a decade of experience in various forms of performing arts.
She is quick to point out the downside of being in the limelight though, lamenting the way it robs one of a certain freedom to just be. “Sometimes you can’t even be seen enjoying a Savannah nje! Because you are afraid that someone might just get the wrong shot of you,” bemoans Amo, who admits that she “struggles to find a balance between paranoia and consciousness.”
Kissing your privacy goodbye is part and parcel of the biz.
When did you fall in love with the stage?
It was at a very young age. I grew up obsessed with musicals and the concept of singing, dancing and acting on stage. I wanted to be Annie and always loved to entertain. Fame was never the objective, entertaining was then and still is thee huge passion.
You studied Musical Theatre at TUT Arts Campus but did not complete, what happened?
I did not finish the course as I went on to take part in a pan African musical “Daughters of Africa” which toured the Netherlands. Shortly after my return to South Africa, I went on to play the young lead in a Zulu musical “Mama Africa” which staged at the Durban Play House. Just as I was gearing up to go back and finish my studies, I was cast in the musical “Mariam Makeba” which also went on to tour the Netherlands.
I can only describe the experience as phenomenal and mind blowing! From how my theater career was beginning to escalate, I already knew then that God had a lot in store for me and I was on the right path towards fulfilling my purpose and living my dream as an actress and musician.
Vulnerable: Amo admits that she struggles to find the balance.
You’ve been Reneilwe on Rhythm City for almost three years now, how has the ride been?
It has been a joy to bring this fun filled character to life. I can’t say there is anything I hate about being an actress but I must say being in the public eye has been a big challenge. Not only the reality of being exposed to public scrutiny and expectations but it has also had a huge effect, both positive and negative, on my friendships and relationships at large.
My all-time favourite actress is Angelina Jolie because I love her versatility. She has an outstanding ability to play so many different roles and not to mention always give a brilliant and convincing performance.
Aspiring to fill some pretty big shoes.
You sing too?
I’m part of a female duo called “Shee” along with an extremely talented vocalist Tshenolo Ntsani. We are currently working of releasing a five track EP but you can always catch us live with our three piece band every weekend in different venues around Johannesburg and Pretoria .
Whose chair would you like to sit on for a day? Oprah Winfrey!
Why? To be black, to be female, to be at that level and to have so much power and resources to influence so many lives. That’s everything, I think. I would definitely use it wisely, even if for a day.
The duo that is Shee: Amo and Tshenolo performing at an etv event at Hartbeespoort, Sep 2014
I wish I could speak… French, Shona and Swahili
I’m really good at… Cooking and baking!
If only I was better at… Time management! I’m sooo bad!
Everybody knows this about me: I’m extremely loud, I enjoy a good laugh and I always put God first!
Lover of laughter.
Nobody knows this about me… Dirt and a mess give me huge anxiety! Make sure you clean up after yourself when you’re around me!
My greatest achievement is still underway! But to date, it has to be getting my foot into the entertainment industry.
What have you learned from life so far? Life has taught me to be patient. Patient with others, patient with myself and to always FORGIVE! It has also taught me that it is within our purpose to help others and keep in mind that everybody is facing some kind of struggle so if it is not in your capacity to help them,don’t hurt them!
She has a serious side: Amo has ambitions of starting an arts foundation.
What do you better than acting and singing? Oh geeze! Uhmm, I think I’m a great daughter.
Extra hours in a day or more money in the bank? Definitely extra hours in a day!
In my heart, I always carry… Christ , my parents and all that they have taught me, my siblings and the laughter my friends have brought me.
Your signature drink? OROS!!!! all day everyday OROS wins!!!!!!
The Oros lady and the Beetle.
There’s virtually only a month of the year left, what are you rushing to get done? I’m in a massive, insane hurry to grow my hairline! I’m trying every product that there is out there! We also want to get our EP done and maybe if there’s time, get a puppy!
Jozi is…The concrete jungle of SA.
Pretoria is…HOME, where love resides.
Love is… 1 Corinthians13, verve 4 to 8.
What is 30 year old – and older – Amo doing with her life? She is writing and directing Musicals. She has a foundation that offers theatre training as well as music studies (theory , instruments , and vocal) to under privileged kinds and teens! And she is still in the business of course.