72 Year Old Lydia Mokgokoloshi Returns To Screen


It was with great pleasure that I tuned on to SABC 1 and saw Lydia, whom South Africans affectionately know as MmaNkwesheng from the popular classic Sepedi dramedy, Bophela Ke Semphekgo. I watched and loved the show when I was a little boy band seeing "MmaKwesheng" still alive and active is a bliss indeed.

Born on 27th September 1939 Lydia Mokgokoloshi plays the role of ‘Koko’ in SABC1's new show Skeem Saam. She was born in Limpopo in a dry desert area next to the Tropic of Capricorn in a village Botlokwa.

Speaking of her childhood days she said; 


“I attended Manthata Tribal School and was taught by Mrs B Matsha who is still alive today, she taught me grade one and two. I did standard one to four at farm school in Joppa and standard five and six at Botlokwa Primary. I attended high school at Mokomene School and then went for teacher training at Mokopane. I taught for ten years at home and in 1974 I moved to Soweto where I taught until I retired in 1997.”



Lydia is from a family of five; her father played a big role in encouraging his children to do the best for themselves. Unfortunately her father had eye problems and became blind. He went back to school where he was taught to use a typewriter and Braille. 

 It was hard for her mother to look after the five children but Lydia says “fortunately we all went to school and managed to go to the library to study.”



“As a teacher I produced good results, when a child had difficulties in any subject I would use the dramatisation method! This always worked because drama is interesting to children, easy to understand and they don’t forget.”



Lydia is happy to represent South African grannies in Skeem Saam and hopes the show will encourage parents and children to form better relationships; she says 


“I think my fans will be happy to see me again. Skeem Saam is about three teenage boys who have to grow up through tough times in a Limpopo township. The series is centered on a hit and run accident that sees these boys facing situations that test their friendship.” 

Asked what she enjoys when she is not portrayed these loveable characters on tv she said she enjoys fusion music, the most memorable song in her life is the late Lucky Dube’s I am a Prisoner, 


“the song has a great message for the youth, and he was trying to tell them of the importance and power of education for their future.” 

Her favourite radio station is SAfm because “it is highly informative, especially the talk show at eight.”

Mr D M Sekgota, her standard five and six teacher is Lydia’s inspiration and she speaks fondly of him; 

“he was a very good teacher, always encouraging us to read more books and sometimes he would use the stick if necessary but I respected him.”


Koko Lydia’s favourite movie is Romeo and Juliet; her favourite actors are "the Matabane, Barker and Le Roux family" in Isidingo which she enjoys watching. 

 In her leisure time she reads and works in the garden. 

Lydia lives with her grandchildren from her only son who passed away in 2003. She was married to a kind gentle man who wouldn’t hurt a fly. “We are a happy family.”


Skeem Saam is produced by PEU Communication Solutions for SABC Education. Catch the show on SABC1 Thursdays at 20h30 .

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