SURVIVING A LIFE OF HELL
Veteran actor Jerry Mofokeng opens up to Bongani Mdakane about his struggles in life
LEGENDARY playwright and actor, Jerry Mofokeng (60), speaks openly about how poverty made him resilient and taught him to work hard to change his life. Being raised in a shebeen by his mother in Orlando West, Soweto, Jerry says he has come out victorious. LIFE OF SORROW The Heist actor says he had to work hard to achieve everything he has.
“I grew up in a household that used to sell booze. My mother had to take care of me and my three siblings,” says Jerry.
“As the last born, I used to ask myself why all those men were at the shebeen drinking and not at their homes spending time with their families. It made me realise that was not the kind of life I wanted to live, even though the shebeen brought money into our family.”
He adds that he’s grateful though because their mother had their best interests at heart and worked hard to provide for them.
“Life was not easy for me. I had to endure the pain of going to school wearing worn-out uniform and no shoes. Some teachers caned me for not wearing proper uniform because they just didn’t understand my situation,” he says. LIVING IN LESOTHO Jerry says that he also experienced hell in Lesotho, where he went to stay as a youngster.
“I was taken to Lesotho to live there with the hope of getting a better education but I ended up herding cattle,” he says.
“I had to endure hunger, cold and loneliness in the mountains of Lesotho but I told myself that I would make something out of my life. I later came back to Soweto where I finished my matric. I didn’t want to disappoint my mother. I started attending auditions and got roles that changed my life. I was able to support my family.” MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER Jerry, who is a staunch Christian, believes that God always makes a way for His people.
His acting exposed him to other opportunities in the industry.
Jerry, together with his beautiful wife, Claudine Mofokeng, motivate people around the country.
“My wife and I talk to people about relationships and marriages at the churches where we get invited. Through our ministry, Family Matters, we encourage people to spread love and cherish it. People need to believe in marriages and know that there are still loyal partners out there. If you lay a solid foundation in your relationship, you should always service that love you give your partner,” he says. Actor Jerry Mofokeng has come a long way to make a good name for himself in the arts industry
Jerry, who wrote the book titled In Love & Intimate, says, “When you say you are in a relationship, you must learn to love a woman the way she wants to be loved. Weekends are a downfall for many men and this leads to problems in marriages.”
Jerry declines to comment when Move! asks him about joining one of e.tv’s soapies from August.
“I don’t know where you get that from and I’m not going to comment on that,” he says.
He is currently working on a stage play titled, My Father’s Daughter, which features Lesotho stars Tseko Monaheng and Mosili Makuta. His show will run at the Bloemfontein Theatre next month.
WEEKENDS ARE A DOWNFALL FOR MEN