Makgotso M Image via Instagram @makgotsom1 Shot by

‘Not just black and white’: Actress Makgotso M’s struggles

Makgotso M is one of South Africa’s brightest young actresses, but she finds difficulty in bagging more roles and calls for diversity.


Makgotso M Image via Instagram @makgotsom1 Shot by

Makgotso Monyemorathoe, better known as Makgotso M, is one of South Africa’s strongest and boldest actresses. She had a role in Mzansi Magic’s drama series Is’Thunzi and won over the hearts of the series’ viewers.

As much as she has been celebrated, she feels it is important to highlight the difficulties of being an actress with a mixed heritage. 


Makgotso took to her Instagram to express the troubles she has had while auditioning for acting roles and being turned down because she doesn’t look African or South African enough. She explained that she is a South African Zulu and Pedi woman with British citizenship. 

Makgotso writes that she has been told to accept what she is told because “that’s just how the industry is”. 

“I understand that some roles do require a specific look. Granted. However I feel that mainstream media has defined what being African looks and sounds like, which tends to be one specific look and sound. Which is inaccurate because Africa is so diverse.”

Makgotso M

“And I am one person. My personal experiences do not cover the experiences of all black people.”


In her lengthy Instagram post, Makgotso stressed the importance of representation in all the forms of media. She feels it is important for television and film to show people from a variety of backgrounds on the screen.

“Art is an imitation of life. And life is not just black and white. Tall or short, slim or curvy. As a people we are so diverse. I learn something new everyday.”

Makgotso M

Makgotso used images of herself and other African countries to bring home her point about diversity. In her post, we see images of Isibaya actress Michelle Mosalakae, Underground Railroad actress and  Is’Thunzi co-star Thuso Mbedu, as well as images of other black women. 

ALSO READ: ‘Underground Railroad’: Oprah praises Thuso Mbedu for ‘performance of a lifetime’