Rhythm City's bad boys open up

By Drum Digital
27 October 2010

THEY’RE players in the show they star in, irresistible to women and thorns in each other’s side. In real life the Rhythm City actors are great friends – but their track records with women read more like the script of a soap opera than anything they’ve had to act out on the small screen.

Peter Sephuma, who plays Miles in the e.tv show, and Macks Papo, who plays Ivan, have always been guarded about their personal lives – especially when it comes to the fairer sex. But today the two, who’ve been friends for more than 20 years, have agreed to an exclusive tell-all interview and nothing is off limits. Much of what they have to say will raise eyebrows but they feel they haven’t done anything wrong, except maybe succumb to the temptation of “tricky” women.Peter (57) has an especially chequered past. He’s been charged with rape twice and until last year was married to two women, Fedile Sephuma and the executive producer of SABC3 soap Isidingo, Pumla Hopa. He even wore two wedding rings on his finger.

As for Macks (44), he separated from Jackie Hlongwane, his wife of seven years, three years ago and last year finally admitted his marriage ended because he’d been unfaithful and emotionally abusive.

We meet the two men at upmarket Moyo Restaurant in Melrose Arch, Joburg, and it’s obvious they are very close. “I’ve known this guy for almost 20 years,” Macks says.

“Right you are,” Peter says, slapping his friend on the shoulder. “People don’t know our rivalry ends on the set. They see us together on the odd occasion but they don’t know we’re tight. They don’t know re phila together.”

They explain they met in the late ’80s when Peter was in a production of Poppie Nongena at the Pretoria State Theatre. “Afterwards I went backstage to congratulate him on a great performance,” Macks says.

“It was a mutual attraction,” Peter adds with a grin. A few years later, when Peter’s mom passed away, Macks wrote a poem dedicated to her for the funeral.

“I still have a copy of it,” Peter says sadly. “We had serious after-tears afterwards.”

Macks went on to star in M-Net’s Egoli as Tsheko Mashabela while Peter continued doing theatre and film and the guys didn’t see much of each other until they were reunited in Rhythm City in 2007. Their friendship is strong and they’ve been there for each other through thick and thin, they say.

And there have been plenty of ups and downs in their respective love lives.

PETER met Fedile after his divorce from Nomsa Nene, the veteran actress and TV presenter turned estate agent, in 1985. “At the time I was going out with Fedile’s friend but when she introduced me to Fedile, I knew then and there she would be the mother of my children,” he recalls.

In 1991 Peter met Pumla and it was love at first sight. “I don’t know why I fell in love with Pumla – I just did.”

He doesn’t want to discuss too many details of his marriages, but says each woman had her own house. And clearly there were problems in both houses.

“There is no woman who doesn’t have an issue with being in a polygamous marriage,” he admits. “They just learn to deal with it.”

Despite his initial cavalier attitude to polygamy, Peter acknowledges that in retrospect he shouldn’t have taken a second wife. “I now know I wasn’t meant to have two wives. In a way I’m happy God split up Pumla and me because things went back to the way they were meant to be.

“Two women are double the responsibility and double the baggage. I realise I’m much more focused now I have just one wife.”

Read the full article in DRUM of 4 November 2010

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