The perils of having a dream job

2012-11-21 14:11

If you grew up in a very small town, like Bethal in Mpumulanga, you immediately became a saviour the day you moved out of home and got yourself a job in Johannesburg.

It gets worse when that said job is in the television industry, as a writer for a popular soap opera like Rhythm City.

While my mother, a school principal, was harassing me about getting a real job, my childhood friends saw me as their ticket to fame.

Some imagined themselves playing Sbu Vilakazi’s long-lost lover, or Suffocate’s brother.

That was no longer a far-fetched dream for them, because I was there to make it possible – my mom had unwittingly become some sort of a talent scout.

‘It’s easy,’ they’d say, ‘just write me a role on Rhythm City.’ I’d smile politely, not wanting to disappoint my wonderful mother who’d given them my cell number.

I knew I had to put a stop to the madness when I received a call from another one of my childhood associates who’d always teased me ruthlessly and relentlessly about being a shocking soccer player when we were kids.

He called late one evening, demanding to know why I hadn’t given back to the community I grew up in.

In other words, why hadn’t I given him a role on TV? That was it.

After giving him a tongue-lashing about his bad manners, knowing that I would be labelled pompous and ungrateful, I asked him to audition like everyone else, and assured him I wasn’t as influential as he insisted I was.

After that conversation, he never called again. He also stopped talking to me, my mom stopped furnishing her neighbours with my numbers and I started sleeping without interruption.

» Bonga Percy Vilakazi is a freelance writer and the music director for Rhythm City. He still walks where the streets have no name.

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