In an age of social media buzz and superficial stardom, Gaosi Raditholo has managed to steer clear of all the noise and establish herself as a pure thespian. Over the past few years, film directors and producers across the country have marvelled at how as soon as the lights come on and the camera turns her way, she is able to transform from her shy off-screen persona to embody virtually any role to perfection.
Gaosi’s interest in performance started at a very young age. Her late grandmother was a huge influence through her work as a writer, director and actress in community theatre plays in her village in Botswana. “We’d go on tour with her plays on a blue train back then and just watch her direct plays which dealt with pertinent social issues,” she recalls. “I was also part of the school choir in primary school and would perform in musical theatre shows then. I just loved performance. It was more a hobby back then, an opportunity to play pretend in the same way my sister and I would do during our play time.”
This influence has been clear throughout her career — during her master’s year (she majored in directing and playwriting) Gaosi produced, directed and wrote a screenplay tackling pertinent issues around women, xenophobia and representation on SA film and the broader media landscape. She continues to take an interest in interrogating these issues and wishes to create films and series which advance women rights and mental health in the near future.
Prior to attaining her master’s degree, when Gaosi was in her third year as a dramatic arts student at Wits University, she was awarded the Percy Tucker award as the prestigious school’s best directing student. Despite this being an award often given to fourth year and postgraduate students, Gaosi was ahead of her class and already showing immense promise beyond her years. In the decade since, she’s proven that she truly is cut from a different cloth by not only fulfilling her promise as a director, but also by showcasing her versatility as an all-round filmmaker through her many roles acting on local and international TV/film productions.
Shortly after she was awarded the Percy Tucker award, Gaosi was invited to join Makhaola Ndebele to assistant direct on the legendary Zakes Mda’s play, The Mother of All Eating, which went on to play at the Market Theatre, The State Theatre and Freestate. While she has plans to delve into directing once more, it was at this point that she decided to focus her career as a TV actress.
It didn’t take long for Gaosi to announce her arrival on the scene with her breakthrough role as an actress on an SABC 2 show called Keeping Score. Here, she played the character of Jade, a broken girl trying to find herself in a world which wasn’t accepting of her sexuality. Jade’s mother’s overt rejection of who she is led her to question her identity and her place in the world. “The role required me as an actress to find emotional depth to convey her struggles,” says Gaosi. “It pushed me as an actress to interrogate the psychological impact of rejection or being othered in society. I had to make friends with my shadow self in order to convey an array of emotions in the most authentic way possible, with as much truth which resonated with the audience who could identify with her struggles.”
Over the following few years, Gaosi firmly established herself as one of the brightest young actresses on the continent with roles on film and TV productions such South Africa’s leading telenovela “Keeping Score”, “The Queen”, “The River”, sci-fi series “Vagrant Queen”, and a cameo role in National Geographic’s “Crisis in the Hot Zone” series. Known for her incredible range and dynamism, Gaosi is now set to take the international film industry by storm with an upcoming role on renowned global platform HBO in a series slated for release in 2023. Having been directed by great local theatre directors such as Greg Homann, Pusetso Thibedi and Makhaola Ndebele, as well as one of the great local multi award-winning TV & film directors Catherine Cook, with whom she worked with on “Keeping Score” and “The River”, she’s continually been inspired to enhance her abilities by constantly challenging her artistic brain.
Apart from her work as an actress and director, Gaosi is big on fitness and working out — “A good gym session is necessary for my sanity. That’s what keeps me grounded and centred.” With plans of delving into athleisure in the near future, Gaosi’s keen sense of style and business are set to form the cornerstone of her next chapter. Given her trajectory and what she’s achieved thus far, there’s little doubt she’ll make a success of this, too.
For bookings or more information on Gaosi, please get in contact with an agent at OSM Talent.