With her latest role in the drama series Broken Vows, actress Jo-Anne Reyneke tackles the sensitive issue of rape.
As the country celebrates Women’s Month just weeks after a number of women have been assaulted or killed, she feels the story line is relevant.
Reyneke plays Thandi in the e.tv show. Thandi has apparently been through a lot in her short life, having been raped by her employer’s husband Ace when she was 15.
She admits that when she took up the role, she had to do some research to make sure she did justice to the character.
“It was easy to tackle the role because it is a common story that many women in this country have gone through or can relate to.
“However, I had to be careful how I portrayed her without offending victims,” she says.
Thandi is highly organised, to the point of having an obsessive compulsive disorder, as a wedding planner at Yours Truly Concepts.
“She is a go-getter, a hard worker who uses her work to conceal her troubled past. In fact, she is a control freak and the only time she has an edge over others is when she is at work.”
She says Thandi, who comes from a troubled background, was taken in by the Moswene family when she was 15.
“She had a difficult upbringing, and when she got a family that offered more, was raped. The worst part is that her mother refused to believe that she was raped,” Reyneke says.
The rape issue subsequently divided the Moswene family.
Reyneke says Thandi’s relationship with her mother, Lydia (played by Nomsa Nene), is strained because she never believed that she was raped.
She says Thandi has a big influence on the story line because all the characters are attached to her. When the series started, Thandi was very quiet but has become vocal as the story develops, revealing an old family secret – that she had been raped.
Reyneke says viewers will learn more about the woman who comes across as innocent while she has so many flaws.
“Thandi dreams of marrying the love of her life Uhuru (played by Thapelo Mokoena). As the story continues, viewers will be introduced to her darker side and secrets.”
Reyneke, who is from Mbali in Pietermaritzburg, is engaged to actor Thami Mngqolo. They have two children.