Difference from their characters

By Faeza
28 October 2016

A relationship with a father and son should have a clear understanding, and meaning. Most fathers are friends with their sons, to a point where they look out for each other. However between Big Boy and Leshole things are different.

Big Boy whose real name is Charles Maja (60) and Leshole whose real name is Thabo Mkhabela (24) made their grand appearance on our TV screen earlier this year on one of SABC 1’s favourable soapie drama Skeem Saam, as a father and son whose relationship is not pleasant.


In the soapie Big Boy is an ignorant father who only invests his time in his job as a mechanic and drinking alcohol and doesn’t care about his son’s doing and achievements.

Charles says he is very different from his role. “Big Boy is a father who is irresponsible from his action, he is always one sided. I am nothing like him. I don’t drink alcohol at all. I’m a responsible husband and a father to three children and I will never lay hands on them,” he says.

He further shares that he is a humble man who goes to church and he puts his family first.

On the other hand Thabo who is a Bushbuckridge born and bred but now based in Johannesburg says he enjoy the character he plays of Leshole, a 19year-old high school learner who is a son to Big Boy.

“I like playing the part of Leshole even though him and I are opposites, he made me understand why other children were shy and quiet in school-it could be because of what was happening in their homes,” says Thabo.

He however shares with Move! that he is different from Leshole. “Leshole is very shy and defensive with no friends or siblings and I’m the opposite of him. I have many friends and I talk a lot,” says the actor.

They say they are very blessed to have become the part of Skeem Saam as it is a show that is loved by the people.

“It is overwhelming working beside Thabo. He is the best at what he does, and he is a child that’s being taught well. He is a respectful child, and I am happy to have him by my side,” Charles says.

Thabo says what he loves the most is how the writers write. “Skeem Saam touches on issues that we face in our societies, people can relate. Some people can relate to Leshole and Big boy’s relationship. Others might be going through the same or similar situation without being aware”.


Comparing them to their roles one wouldn’t think they have any form of educational background, however, they both went to school for their craft.

Charles who is also a tailor, studied drama at Action School of Drama in Limpopo and

he had starring roles in several dramas on SABC’s Sepedi radio station Thobela Fm.

Thabo is also one of the youngest in our country who believes greatly in education. He went to the University of Limpopo to study BA in Performing Arts and he is also a motivator.

“I’m a member of Peer to Peer Educator organization.  We go around high schools in Limpopo to motivate pupils about the importance of education and being self-taught. We encourage them to read more novels so to grow their knowledge and not only depend on school for education,” he says.