We had the good fortune of connecting with Refilwe Maitisa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Refilwe, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I consider myself a person who has always taken risks. I think about risks in relation to personal fulfillment and desired outcome. Venturing into a career in entertainment, coming from a family whose careers are in corporate, was a risk for me. Furthermore, I took a major risk by moving from South Africa to the US at a young age to pursue my career. So, I believe in high risk, high reward. Often, risk taking has resulted in many successes, I would not be where I am today if I didn’t take risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The culmination of my heritage, culture & experience living in different continents has aided in distinguishing me as an artist. I have had to step out of my comfort zone, both on and off the stage. I know what it feels like to be an insider and an outsider. I have faced the complexity of intersectionality – to be both privileged and overlooked. My African roots have gifted me with exuberance and a sense of ubuntu (‘I am because we are’) which has kept me grounded through trials and victories. I have discovered how when all these qualities are put together, they can create a dynamic performance that helps distinguish me as an artist.
I got where I am today through training, sacrifice, hard work, focus and tenacity. It was not easy by any means. I overcame challenges along the way through the prayers of others and encouraging words I held onto.
I have learned to stay the course, work well with other people and to always be on top of my game. I want people to remember me as dynamic, creative and focused artist who enjoys acting & singing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend for a relaxing day at Venice Beach. The following day, we will go to Los Angeles County Museum of Art and get some tacos afterwards. Would it really be a trip to LA if they don’t go hiking? I would take my friend hiking to the Hollywood sign. Next, we will go to Rodeo Drive and eat ice-cream. Santa Monica Pier will be our next excursion for my friend to explore and enjoy the ocean. The following day we will go to The Pantages Theatre to watch live theatre. The trip is not complete until I take my friend to The Grove to watch movies and walk through The Farmers Market.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I credit my success to the Lord, my family and the friends I grew with. My family and friends have supported and encouraged me from the beginning. They support me for who I am, not just what I do. To me, that’s one of the most comforting things. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. The people in my life stand in the gap for me when I am weak. They deserve this shout out and more.