Skeem Saam Cast and Characters: Meet the Actors, their Real Names and Ages

Skeem Saam is one of South Africa’s most beloved television series where teens are thrust into adult scenarios. Its storyline about trials and tribulations of teenagers trying to become successful adults is very much relatable to many South Africans, and this continues to distinguish it from other soap operas also airing in the country. Apparently, a good number of Skeem Saam cast relate well with the characters they play.

Created by Winnie Serite and broadcast on SABC1, the series started in 2011 and is currently running its tenth season. Aside from the production team, the show’s longevity is thanks to the actors who bring different characters to life. Read on to know real-life facts about your favorite Skeem Saam cast and characters.

Overview of Skeem Saam’s Storyline

Skeem Saam is the third most-watched South African soap opera. It tells the story of teenagers trying to navigate through life’s challenges and struggles in a community called Turfloop outside Polokwane. It features the good and the difficult parts of their journey in Turfloop and also what elites in Joburg pass through.

The first season of the show started with three boys trying to dig themselves out of a hole they fell into during a night out after they stole a car to have fun with. Before the end of this first season, the boys were bound by a deep secrete, which they must hold on to or face grave consequences. As the show progressed, other characters in Turfloop were introduced to portray the daily challenges teenagers in the community face and the steps they take to better their lives.

Skeem Saam Cast and Characters; Who they are in Real Life

1. Lerato Marabe (24 years old)

  • Real name: Lerato Marabe
  • Character: Pretty Skeem Sam
  • Date of birth: June 28, 1999
  • Cast Type: Main Character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Isibaya, End Game, Mzansi Love, Intersexion

First on our list of Skeem Saam cast and characters is the 24-year-old Lerato Marabe, who got on the popular series at the age of 11. This is thanks to her mother’s relentless effort in taking her to auditions. At that young age, she delivered the role well enough, and she is mainly known for her husky voice. Her ability to interpret the character named Pretty earned her a spot in many other TV series, including “Isibaya,” in which she acted as Nelisa, Mzansi Love, where she featured as Babalwa, Intersexoin where she acted as Mpho, and End Game in which she was known as Precious.

Since she started acting at an early age, Lerato decided to continue her studies at AFDA in Cape Town and get a degree in Film Editing. She got her basic and high school education at Vosloorus and Boksburg High School, respectively. Her ability to achieve so much at an early age might be because of the strict upbringing she said her mother gave to them. Aside from the projects mentioned here, Lerato Marabe has other projects she is working on. She has a boyfriend whose photos she occasionally shares on social media, especially Instagram.

2. Mogau Paulina Motlhatswi ( 31 years old)

  • Real name: Mogau Paulina Motlhatswi
  • Character: Mapitsi Skeem Saam
  • Date of birth: July 13, 1992
  • Cast Type: Main character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Soul City, Karektas

Born in Mogoto, Limpopo, Mogau had wanted to be many things. From a lawyer to a radio personality, and finally an actress. She eventually settled for acting, and she has no regrets as she is doing well at it. She delivers her role in the Skeem Saam drama so well that she has featured in other projects, including Soul City, where she played the role of Bulelwa.

Popularity is not the only thing Mogau gained for being among Skeem Saam cast and characters. She also found her better half there. In August this year, the actress tied the knot with another character on the show, Thabo Tbose Maputla. Although she had broken Tobse’s heart in the TV show, their real-life relationship is different, as they are now happily married.

3. Asnath Thabang Innocent (36 years old)

  • Real Name: Asnath Thabang Innocent (Sadiki)
  • Character: Sthoko Skeem Saam
  • Date of birth: January 30, 1988
  • Cast Type: Main character
  • Number of Seasons: 5 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Big Brother Mzansi, Eish Saan, Generation, iThuba Lokucina, Trending SA, The Big Break

Innocent’s character in the series is loved by many fans, and she does well in bringing it to live. She plays the role of MaNtuli’s oldest daughter, who is in an abusive relationship with a man called Dennis. The actress is an identical twin in real life, and it was once rumored that her twin sister, Millicent Mashile stood in for her in Skeem Saam. The act was alleged to have caused her to get dismissed from work, but she later cleared the air about this.

Her sister is also into the entertainment industry, and they have done a lot together, including owning a production company. Aside from the work she does with her sister, she has been up to a lot herself. Early this year, she announced a new reality TV show, ‘Pastors’ Wives,’ in which she will feature, and she is currently on the show. Mind you, she is married to a pastor, and they are blessed with two kids.

4. Austin Rethabile Mothapo (26 years old)

  • Real Name: Austin Rethabile Mothapo
  • Character: Noah Skeem Saam
  • Yera of birth: 1998
  • Cast Type: Main character
  • Number of Seasons: 10
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: NA

Noah in Skeem Saam is a very mischievous boy that lies, steals and deceives people. Although Austin Rethabile Mothapo is nothing like Noah in real life, his smooth delivery of the role has won him a lot of haters, and some even take out their dislike for Noah on the real Austin. The actor has attributed his ability to interpret the role well to his personal experiences. Even though he is nothing like Noah, he has been a victim of corn artists and bullies, so he knows their gestures and expressions. The only obvious similarity between Noah and Austin is their stylish nature.

Austin became a member of Skeem Saam cast and characters while studying at the Tshwane University of Technology, and he later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in IT. He took his career seriously and has since advanced beyond Skeem and Saam. He is also a model, director, and movie producer.

5. Africa Tsoai (56 years old)

Africa Tsoai
Africa Tsoai (John Maputla)
  • Real Name: Africa Tsoai
  • Character: John Maputla
  • Date of birth: July 4, 1967
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Mokgonyana Matswale, Bophelo Ke Semphekgo, Zaziwa

The 56-year-old acts as a husband to Meikie Maputla and father to Leeto and Thabo in the popular TV series. He seems to love his lifestyle as a father, and he extended it to the screen. Africa Tsoai is a renowned actor and has starred in several shows. According to him, he has started speaking English because of his career.

The married man with four kids has ventured into different business types to make a living. He started his own business in 1996 and has since been doing many things, including photography and modeling. Africa has also worked in transportation, copywriting, producing, and voice-overs.

6. Clement Maosa (35 years old)

  • Real Name: Clement Maosa
  • Character: Zamokuhle Kwaito Seakamela
  • Date of birth: May 9, 1988
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: Best Male Actor, Fame South Africa Award, 2015
  • Other Popular Works: Rented Family, Zaziwa, Dream School SA, Tropika Smooth

The Skeem Saam series marked Clement’s entry into the limelight. Although he had been in the industry for a while, he was not heard of until he joined the drama series in 2011. He delivered his minor role well enough to earn him more roles in other films and series. Aside from acting, Clement has been in the music industry and has released many songs, including ‘Rhythm of Your Heart,’ and ‘Good Life.’ He released the latter together with King Monada.

Before he rose to fame as one of Skeem Saam cast and characters, the singer had a rough time trying to get to the top. Things got even worse after losing his parents in 2007 while he was still schooling at the University of Limpopo. He and his grandmother became the breadwinners of the family, and it was not very easy for him. Currently, the well-to-do actor and singer has a son and fiancée named Kemo.

7. Thabo Tbose Maputla (33 years old)

  • Real Name: Cornet Mamabolo
  • Character: Thabo Tbose Maputla
  • Date of birth: August 10, 1990
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Zabalaza, Orlando East

The actor had always wanted to be a performer or a biotechnologist since childhood. By the level of his university education, he chose to become an entertainer, and he started his career as a content producer for a radio station, ‘VOW FM.’ His acting prowess in the show gained him more fans over the years. The industrious man has other businesses working for him aside from acting. He is the core founder of ‘STECOR Farming,’ an agricultural skill and development company. He is also the owner of the Cornet M Foundation.

Business and career are not the only things working out for Cornet. The entertainer has also tied the knot with his bride, who he found on the Skeem Saam show. He got married to Mogau Paulina, another cast member with whom he played lovers in the show. The couple apparently extended their movie roles to reality, except that this time, his heart was not broken. They do not have any children yet.

8. Lydia Mmakwena Mokgokoloshi (84 years old)

  • Real Name: Lydia Mmakwena Mokgokoloshi
  • Character: Koko Mantsha
  • Date of birth: September 27, 1939
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 8 seasons
  • Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award from South African Film and Television Awards in 2017 and a Golden Horn Award in celebration of her role in Skeem Saam
  • Other Popular Works: Bophelo ke Semphekgo

Since 2011 when the show started, granny has been a major part of it. She is such a great actress and has been recognized as one of the best actresses in South Africa. She brought all of her talent into the show and made the best out of her character. After the eighth season of the drama, the veteran actress relocated from Turfloop, Limpopo, where the storyline of the show is situated. Her relocation prompted her exit from the show, which sparked fake death rumors about her. However, she is fine and might be coming to the show from time to time.

Lydia is not just one of the best actresses on Skeem Saam, she is also one of the highest-paid. She has an estimated net worth of $200,000 and an estimated salary of R35,000 to R50,000

9. Dieketseng Mnisi (63 years old)

  • Real Name: Dieketseng Mnisi
  • Character: Ma Ntuli
  • Year of birth: 1961
  • Cast Type: supporting character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Yizo Yizo, Zone 14, Amazing Grace, Intersexions, Rhythm City, eKasi: Our Stories

Dieketseng is one of the oldest actresses on the show and also one of the best. She is a highly rated actress, and why not? She has many years of experience, working on different projects and improving on her talent. In the past thirty years, she has featured in over eight TV shows, and she is mostly known for acting as a pastor’s wife named Masechaba Moletsane on ‘Stokvel’ from 2007-2012.

Like some other actresses, Mnisi met her husband while on a show. It was a popular sitcom titled ‘Emzini Wezinsizwa.’ After dating, Mnisi and her husband got married and were together for twenty-two years before they divorced in 2005. While they were married, the actress and her ex-husband, Jabu Nkosi Chirwali, had two kids, who are now adults.

10. Patrick Chabedi Seleka (32 years old)

  • Real Name: Patrick Chabedi Seleka
  • Character: Kat Pietersen
  • Date of birth: February 19 1992
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: 7de Laan

Patrick is another actor good at what he does. The young man delivers his character so well that it has won him many fans over the years. He is listed among the best actors on TV series in South Africa. Aside from acting, the entertainer also loves being a DJ, and currently, he is recognized as a SABC DJ. He equally enjoys cooking. He calls himself ‘Chef SLK,’ and he shares different recipes and dishes that he makes on his Instagram account.
While still on the show, Patrick decided to get married to the love of his life at the age of 28. He is happily married to Mmabaneng. However, she is not on the show too.

11. Harriet Lehabe Manamela (53 years old)

  • Real Name: Harriet Lehabe Manamela
  • Character: Meikie Maputla
  • Year of birth: 1971
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: SAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in 2012
  • Other Popular Works: Soul City, Soul Buddyz, Zaziwa, Yizo Yizo, Rhythm City, Ngempela, Intersexions, etc.

Although Harriet has been in the industry for a long time, her role in Skeem Saam helped to boost her popularity more than other shows have over the years. She is one of the best actresses on the show, and she does justice to her role. She is probably as much of a ‘no-nonsense’ mother in real life as she is on the show, making it easy for her to blend into her Skeem Saam character.

She is the mother of Thabo and Leeto on the show, but in the real world, she is the mother of two sons whose names are unknown in the media. As a wife, she is also a strong woman ready to fight for what she wants. It was rumored that her husband was having an affair in the past, and when she found out, she went to confront the woman and take her man back.

12. Eric Macheru (38 years old)

  • Real Name: Eric Macheru
  • Character: Leeto Maputla
  • Date of birth: February 25, 1986
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Zizwa, iNkaba, Mfolozi Street

Eric is one actor that has played two roles in the Skeem Saam show. He featured in the drama as both Leeto and Inkaba. However, he is more popular with the Leeto character, which happens to be the main role he plays in the series. He definitely transfers his team spirit in football into the show as he delivers his best to make sure that the drama is presented well and in an entertaining manner.

As a footballer, the actor played for Ajax Cape Town in 2005 after winning the soccer king competition. Unfortunately, his time with Ajax Cape Town was cut short after he sustained a severe injury that caused him to halt his football career as a player. However, he is a coach, and he confesses that it is not an easy job. Someday, he hopes to own a football team.

13. Lelo Mthiyane (35 years old)

  • Real Name: Amanda du-Pont
  • Character: Lelo Mthiyane
  • Date of birth: June 26, 1988
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 8 seasons
  • Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award from Swaziland’s Department of Arts and Culture
  • Other Popular Works: Zaziwa, Task Force, End Game, Generations, Intersexions, BET A-List, Life is Wild, Shadow, Single Guyz, Mzansi Love, etc.

Amanda is a Swazi actress even though she is on the Skeem Saam. Although she does not have one of the highest ratings based on her acting performance, she has been able to do well enough to get roles in many shows and movies. Before she joined the show in the third season and got even more famous as one of the notable Skeem Saam cast and characters, she had been on many other shows. She is currently still taking her acting and hosting career seriously, and it earned her a role in a Netflix superhero series titled ‘Shadow.’

As a host, Amanda co-hosted ‘The Real Goboza,’ the SABC1 celebrity gossip show. However, she confessed that even though she loved her job, it affected her relationships with other celebrities in the industry. As a result, she decided to make serious decisions in her career.

14. Bongani Masondo (40 years old)

  • Real Name: Bongani Masondo
  • Character: Mangaliso
  • Date of birth: January 26, 1984
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 3 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: Tshisa, Turn It Out, Society, Ambitions

Bongani joined the Skeem Saam show in season three and left in season five over payment dispute with the producers. He claimed that he had requested an increase in his salary because his character had appeared in almost every scene of the previous season, but the producers refused to grant his request. On the other hand, a Skeem Saam spokesperson said that they could not afford his demand, and had called for a negotiation, but he refused and chose to leave. While on the show, the actor did well to bring his character to life.

Before joining Skeem Saam, Bongani was a singer. He has continued to hone his music skills while still featuring in other shows. He joined an experimental band called ‘Coloured Black.’ This group writes collectively, and they use a new music genre of beatbox, rap, poetry, singing and no accompaniment.

15. Shoki Sebotsane (46 years old)

  • Real Name: Reshoketswe Portia Mmola
  • Character: Zamokuhle Kwaito Seakamela
  • Date of birth: August 10, 1977
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 10 seasons
  • Awards: Golden Horn Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in a TV Drama
  • Other Popular Works: Death of a Queen, eKasi: Our Stories, Mfolozi Street, Rhythm City, My Perfect Family, Muvhango, Zaziwa

The 46 years old lady is one of those that have been consistent and loyal to the TV show. She started with the first season and has been on every season, up to the current season. She is a pretty good actress, and she interprets the character of Celia well. Aside from Skeem Saam, Shoki has been on a number of other shows as listed above. Her acting skills have also won her an award.

Shoki is one of SA’s high-ranking media personalities and one of Skeem Saam cast and characters that have built a sustainable career in the industry. Her outstanding performance has earned her a lot of fans, and she has done well to extend her work to other parts of the entertainment industry, like directing and producing. She is also a translator and language advisor. Although divorced, the actress seems to be living her best life.

16. Lesego Marakalla (30 years old)

  • Real Name: Lesego Marakalla
  • Character: Rachel Kunutu
  • Date of birth: May 16, 1993
  • Cast Type: minor character
  • Number of Seasons: 8 seasons
  • Awards: NA
  • Other Popular Works: NA

Lesego joined the show in its first season and has done well in bringing the character of Rachel to life. Her acting prowess is undeniable. Rachel is a high-maintenance sugar baby who has a strict mother, but she has chosen not to heed to her warnings. Although Lesego is one of the most loved Skeem Saam cast and characters, she has not featured in so many other projects, and Skeem Saam is her most significant work for now.

Aside from acting, the talented lady also finds joy in script-writing, charity work, and spending time with family and close friends. However, the lady keeps her personal life private, and it is hard to tell whether she is in a relationship or not.

Summary List of Skeem Saam Cast

  1. Lerato Marabe (Pretty Skeem Sam)
  2. Mogau Paulina Motlhatswi (Mapitsi Skeem Saam)
  3. Asnath Thabang Innocent (Sthoko Skeem Saam)
  4. Austin Rethabile Mothapo (Noah Skeem Saam)
  5. Africa Tsoai (John Maputla)
  6. Clement Maosa (Zamokuhle Kwaito Seakamela)
  7. Cornet Mamabolo (Thabo Tbose Maputla)
  8. Lydia Mmakwena Mokgokoloshi (Koko Mantsha)
  9. Dieketseng Mnisi (Ma Ntuli)
  10. Patrick Chabedi Seleka (Kat Pietersen)
  11. Harriet Lehabe Manamela (Meikie Maputla)
  12. Eric Macheru (Leeto Maputla)
  13. Amanda du-Pont (Lelo Mthiyane)
  14. Bongani Masondo (Mangaliso)
  15. Shoki Sebotsane (Zamokuhle Kwaito Seakamela)
  16. Lesego Marakalla (Rachel Kunutu)


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