Using black magic to lure congregants, taking advantage of young girls sexually, spraying Doom in the faces of church members, feeding them grass or spanking the bottoms of female members in front of the congregations are just some of the very disturbing things that have happened in South African churches over the years.
Now he gets to act out some of the shady church business in his new role.
TV presenter and actor Nimrod Nkosi says his gig as the host of Amabishop has prepared him for his next acting role.
Amabishop was a reality TV show that exposed the controversial things that happened in churches. There was even an episode where viewers learnt that some pastors bury animal heads under their churches and the number of maggots that come out will represent the number of church members that will attend that church.
After seeing the worst of the worst when it comes to churches, Nimrod now plays Papa M, a shady pastor on SABC 3’s The Estate.
“Papa M is a bad pastor. He is one of those who abuse young girls, he has a compound where he keeps his victims. He pretends to be of God but in reality, he is all for sacrificial and sexual pleasure. Hosting Amabishop showed me a really dark side to the church. I learnt so much about how these shady pastors were taking advantage of the very people they should be leading to Christ.
“I audition for many roles and those I do not get, I believe it is for a reason and I will get the right roles for me. So this character really came at the right time after I had been exposed to so much from hosting Amabishop."
He says the churches that want to separate people from their families are up to no good and that the men leading those churches, with the help of complicit women, are everything that is wrong with the church today.
He's been around the entertainment industry for a very long time. Nimrod believes it is important to have an anchor to keep you grounded in the entertainment industry. This with over 25 years since his TV debut, Nimrod says family is everything.
“You must have an anchor, so that you do not lose who you are because of the fame,” he says.
“There must be people in your life who are not fazed by the fame, people who will not be afraid to call you out when you do nonsense. There are parents who are scared to tell their own celebrity children when they mess up because the children have moreki tendencies and once they get called out, they withdraw things like groceries or money sent home.”
Family is very important to Nimrod (49) and while he has not deprived himself of anything, he has always been mindful of how his actions would impact or affect his family.
“This industry is very volatile. There is also unlimited access to girls, alcohol and drugs and for me it has always been important to stay true to myself and remember what it is I want to achieve and what legacy I want to leave behind.
“I always knew I had the great responsibility of being accountable to my family. So I deliberately stay out of trouble because I do not want them to be in compromised situations. The truth is, once a rumour starts, by the time you get to your family to explain your side of the story or how things really happened, your family has already been negatively exposed. So I just do me, and I try to do good to others. Be good to the guy at the gate and the guy that owns the house and you will get far in life. Everyone deserves respect.”
He says society needs to realize that money and fame can be especially challenging for those who come from nothing. He says if a person comes from a family with an income of R3000 per month, then suddenly they are thrust into fame and have R500 000, it will not be easy for the that person to handle it all.
“Some people become a law unto themselves and if the family structure is not solid, they can easily be influenced by so-called friends who do not truly have their best interests at heart. Then the wrong people start whispering in their ears and it is downhill from there.
Read more | Nimrod Nkosi opens up about hosting Utatakho
“I am not saying people must stay in unhappy or abusive relationships for the sake of children. Regardless of what happens between the parents, they still have a responsibility to their children. In order to build the country, we must first build families and then communities. It is incumbent on us as parents to support our children. The system has been wreaking havoc for centuries and as a result, black families have been broken. Apartheid and the migrant labour system have destroyed families and we need to rebuild.”
The Utatakho host says being a father to his young son Jordan is his greatest pleasure.
“He is the love of my life. He is my life,” he says.
“I have always been a later bloomer. I started TV at 21 when other people were doing it in their teens. I got married at 40 and I was 41 when we had him. He is an amazing young man and everyday I try my best to be the I can be to him. Through him I enjoy my childhood too.”