Nothing is guaranteed in their industry, even for the most popular of veterans.
Just a few months ago, actor Seputla Sebogodi (58) was excited to be back on-screen as Bra Kabe on telenovela Lithapo but not long ago, in a surprising twist, he died on the show.
“Oh well, it wasn’t my first death, I have died a few times before in this industry, that is how it goes. You do your best and if you are going to die, you let the writers decide,” he jokes.
As has been the case for many others, COVID-19 really pulled the rug under his feet, he tells DRUM.
"COVID had me thinking maybe I should sell potatoes and tomatoes too because the streams of income I have I could not do anything. I have an industrial company, I am a recording artist and I produce music so during lockdown I could not do a thing. That derailed me,” Seputla says.
Although his exit from the SABC 2 show was a surprise to viewers, he says he knew it was coming. While grappling with not making money from other avenues, ‘dying’ was yet another addition to it.
“I had about eight-10 calls from Lithapo after restrictions were eased. I died, then immediately I got a call from The River, now that was the highlight of my year. I did not even audition for it, they called me. I am so honoured. They called at the right time, as though they knew,” he laughs.
He plays the character of Mohumi, a man who was in jail for 10 years. He was Lindiwe's (played by Sindi Dlathu) secret lover. He's enjoying himself, Seputla says.
“I am having a ball on this one. The scripts are well written, the treatment is like WOW!” He tells DRUM that it warms his heart that whenever he takes on a role, viewers always embrace him and get all excited to see him.
Something good happened during lockdown though. Seputla and another industry veteran, Jerry Phele produced a play, O tseleng Jeso (Jesus is coming).
“We asked ourselves what would happen if Jesus had to land in South Africa. He was my mentor when I started in the industry, he is basically the man that taught me everything I know about acting. He made it his job to teach me all that I know. I feel honoured, I hope people can see the magic we created on stage with this political satire that zooming into what is happening and what happened in the country,” he says.