Chit Chat – Eric Macheru

2011-10-21 14:31

The last time we saw Eric Macheru (25) on TV was in 2005 when he won the reality contest Soccer Kings. Six years later, the man from Polokwane is back in the new TV drama, Skeem Saam. Brenda Masilela caught up with him

After winning the Soccer Kings competition, what did you get busy with?

I stayed in Cape Town for two years and played for Ajax Cape Town FC. I then left the club and studied film at AFDA (a film school with campuses in Observatory, Cape Town, and Joburg.)

Some people believe that you won Soccer Kings because of your looks.
People always talk and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it. I just told myself that I won’t let negative talk pull me down because people always criticise even if you do good.

At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their opinion, so it’s really not necessary for me to let that get to me.

How did you land the role in Skeem Saam?

A friend of mine told me about it sometime around May and, like everyone else, I went for auditions.

But I was sceptical at first because I was in between all these qualified actors and I didn’t have experience. It was a bit nerve wracking.

Has acting been one of your passions?

No. The media stuff like being behind the scenes was more of my interest. But I fell in love with TV presenting along the way, then acting presented itself and I grabbed the opportunity.

If you had to choose between soccer and acting, what would it be?
Soccer. It’s my number one passion, but a lot of things happened during my days in soccer. I’m still taking a break from that.

What was the biggest challenge you came across during your soccer career?

Truly speaking, a lot of things happened. I can’t exactly pick out one as I was very young during that time and I made decisions hastily. But I can pretty much say the experience has made me wiser.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I love music. When I listen to people like Nas and J.Cole I get inspired by their lyrics. Also, life experiences from people who are close to me.

What would you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Winning Soccer Kings was my first greatest achievement, it was quite big for me. Also getting this acting role because I’ve never acted before and landing this was an altering experience.

How do you handle female fans who throw themselves at you?

Well, I know it sounds like I’m lying but it doesn’t happen a lot. And whenever it happens I just try to be nice as much as I can and explain to the lady that I can’t be with them. And if she doesn’t understand, I avoid the situation completely so that she doesn’t get mixed messages because some tend to confuse being nice to them with wanting to be with them.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

It’s when one gets comfortable with what they have – family, friends and all the material things without envying other people’s possessions. I haven’t achieved it as yet, but I believe perfect happiness is a journey we embark on. I’m still walking that journey.

Who do you credit for your accomplishments?
I can say it’s my family. I come from a family with a very strong supportive system. They have been there for me through it all.

What is your greatest regret?
I don’t live for the past, so I don’t have regrets. If I ‘burn’, then I learn from the experience.

Who are your heroes in real life?
All the people who wake up every morning and try to make a difference in their lives. And everyone else who is ambitious and goal-orientated and those who try to make the most out of life without complaining.

How do you stay grounded?
Like I’ve said before, I come from a family with a very strong supportive system and they are always there to reprimand me when I lose focus. And again, it’s people that I surround myself with plus the fact that I grew up in church which also helped in shaping me.

After Skeem Saam, what is your next project?
Well, I think I’ll still be busy with what I’m doing currently – doing a few ads and also presenting for Pop Bottles TV.

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