Kgomotso Christopher opens up about balancing work and family Q&A

 Raised in Thembisa, Kgomotso (42) graduated with a Master’s degree in Theatre Arts from Columbia University in New York City in 2004. Before that, she had obtained her BA in Law and Politics at the University of Cape Town. ‘I obtained my Master’s degree by the age of 24,’ she says, adding that she initially set her eyes on a career in academia – a goal she realised in 2010 when she became a lecturer in the Arts Department at the University of Witwatersrand. However, as fate would have it, it was also the year in which she clinched the Isidingo role.

Since then, Kgomotso has commanded numerous leading roles in many of our favourite shows such as SABC3’s Isidingo, playing Katlego Sibeko and’s Scandal!, in which she played Yvonne Langa – a role that bagged her two SAFTA Golden Horns for Best Actress in a TV Soap in 2019, and Best Supporting Actress in a TV Soap in 2020.

‘I love that she brought out the comedic side of me,’ says Kgomotso. ‘She’s a hustler and she’s crazy. Many viewers found her relatable.’ In the same year, however, she dropped a bombshell with a move nobody was expecting – she was leaving the show after four years in the role. She was ready to sink her teeth into a new role, that of Dineo Price, the loyal second wife of Sebastian Price in M-Net’s first telenovela, Legacy. ‘I loved the vision that M-Net and Tshedza Pictures had for creating a brand new, fresh and very multicultural and multiracial story.’ And if audience ratings are anything to go by, Legacy is a huge hit among viewers.


A formidable actress, Kgomotso isn’t just a hit among TV viewers. She is a firm favourite for theatregoers, with a lengthy and impressive stage career. Before becoming an Ivy League graduate, she specialised in drama at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg. ‘For the longest time I found TV very uncomfortable, because it was a new medium for me,’ she says. ‘My training is in theatre and it’s my first love. I will always love the immediacy of the theatre medium. There is nothing more electrifying for a thespian than to have a live audience in front of you. There are no retakes, edits or manipulations on stage, meaning as an actor you are more live than on live television, and it forces you to be present in every single performance.’ She adds that she still makes time for her first love – she is the chairperson of the Naledi Theatre Awards and a judge in the Theatre for Young Audiences category.

As with all things Kgomotso does, she puts her heart into motherhood. Even with a 6am call time, she still makes time to put her kids, Larona (13) and Lesika (11), to bed.

‘Motherhood is the suspension of all self-interest in the hope of giving others the best one can offer,’ she says. We ask how she manages her day. ‘There is nothing different about my job,’ she says (in fact, she’s on her way to work at 5.30am when we manage to squeeze in the rest of our interview). ‘All of us are working moms. I just happen to leave for work at 5am,’ she laughs. ‘You have to have a strong support network. I’ve made choices, so when I am at work, I am at work, and when I am home, I am fully at home.’ Family time in the Christopher household involves reading and lots of games, she adds. ‘I have a nonexistent social life!’

She admits she does struggle with mommy guilt occasionally. ‘Being away from home and missing out on special events is my biggest challenge,’ she confides. However, she plans as carefully as she can. ‘It’s a matter of prioritising,’ she says. ‘When I am not at work, they are my full priority. I have a teen and I’m getting ready for a preteen. I think I have gone from being completely clueless to realising the responsibility that comes with shaping a young human.’

Asked how her children have adjusted to having a famous mom, she says, ‘They were both young when I got back to working in the mainstream. They grew up on various sets and with age, they have grasped the concept of fame and adjusted to it very well.

Given that a lot of the time I am away from home, my kids have been very adaptable and I’m very happy with how they have turned out so far. They are well-rounded young human beings.’

“Motherhood is the suspension of all self-interest in the hope of giving others the best one can offer”

Kgomotso and her husband Calvin Christopher tied the knot in 2004. They met just after she made the big move to the Mother City to further her studies. And the rest, as they say, is history. With such a hectic work schedule and parenting, how do they make time to be a couple, we ask. ‘After quality time with the kids, we make time for us,’ she says. This involves a nightcap together before bedtime, a catch-up on each other’s day and an occasional sneaking in an episode of Star Trek.’

And outdoor activities they enjoy together? ‘My husband is a hiker, and I like picnics, so we try to work on each other’s common likes,’ she says. Kgomotso credits 17 years of happy marriage to communication. ‘It is important to be in tune with what is happening in your partner’s life,’ she says. ‘We always try to make time in the day to reconnect. You can have everything that surrounds you, the resources, the money, and opportunities, but if you are not in sync, then you have a problem,’ she says. ‘The communication aspect is a unifier as a couple.’ So, what’s her message to other moms? ‘Take it one day at a time, and know that it’s okay to ask for help.’

Wise words from a woman who clearly understands the balancing act.

  • Cape Town and North West are her favourite parts of SA.
  • She loves her bunny chow and tripe.
  • She loves reading memoirs and autobiographies.
  • One of her favourite local fashion designers is Khosi Nkosi.


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