Setlhabi Taunyane, born on April 27, 1956, is a multifaceted South African talent widely recognized as Bra Kop from the popular e.tv soap opera, Rhythm City, which debuted on July 9, 2007. Beyond his portrayal of Kop Khuse, Taunyane is a seasoned actor, accomplished music arranger, prolific writer, insightful playwright, and adept director.
At 63 years old, Setlhabi Taunyane has not only left an indelible mark in the entertainment industry but has also overcome personal challenges that define the resilience characterizing his journey.
Taunyane’s career extends beyond Rhythm City; he was a significant part of the main cast of the e.tv soap opera and played a supporting role in Soul Buddyz, an SABC 1 education youth drama series spanning four seasons. His versatile talent has graced various shows, including Justice For All, Isidingo, Hard Copy, and the 2007 SABC 1 mini-series Society.
In a candid interview with Move! magazine, Taunyane revealed a tumultuous period in his life when he spent over 10 years in exile in Canada. Upon his return, he faced rejection from his own family, leading to a period of homelessness. Despite the adversity, he emerged resilient, rebuilding his career and finding a place in the cast of Rhythm City in 2007.
Reflecting on those challenging times, Taunyane shared, “My life was tough. I looked frail and sick, and some of my relatives even asked for my ID so that they could take life cover for me. They thought I was going to die. Some called me ikwerekwere (foreigner).” However, he found strength in adversity, expressing gratitude for those who doubted him, stating, “I am thankful to all the people who wrote me off because, without them, I would not have had this drive to succeed in life.”
Taunyane’s story is one of triumph over adversity, a testament to his resilience and determination. Today, when those who once doubted him see his success, including his brother who once chased him away, they are met with a profound sense of embarrassment. Setlhabi Taunyane’s journey is a reminder that success often arises from the depths of challenges, and his portrayal of Bra Kop is not just a character onscreen but a reflection of his own enduring spirit.