“It wasn’t drugs or alcohol that made me change. It was stress, sadness and despair. It was unemployment for over three years,” said veteran actor Roderick Jaftha aka Glen Majozi of Generations’ fame.
This after his return to mainstream television as a gangster on Rhythm City caused a social media frenzy because of his dramatic transformation.
Now exuding a renewed sense of hope, the 54-year-old actor described the sad circumstances that lead to his dramatic change in appearance.
“For three and a half years I struggled to find work. So I was unemployed. I was battling. Hence the weight loss and the drastic change in appearance. Stress is a wonderful slimming remedy. It has not been pleasant. It’s a cruel industry. You can be on top the one day and down at the bottom the next.”
The actor says maturity helped him handle the “sudden” vibe around him, but positivity helped him hold on when he was angry at himself and felt depressed by unemployment.
He said his love for acting began long before he had seen any South African black person on television and he immediately knew what his calling was. After leaving the popular SABC 1 soapie Generations in 2002, the actor revealed life was still good… at least for a while.
“People assume that I left Generations and went straight into a downward spiral, but that was not the case. Life went on for me after the soapie. I did other productions like Villa Rosa, where I played the character called Dr Anthony Jackson until the show was replaced. I was not on mainstream TV, but I was working.”
Roderick explained that when the jobs stopped coming, he was left “heavily stressed” and “dependent” on the support of his family. He said his immediate family held him together with their prayers, support and financial assistance.
Now, in retrospect, the actor admitted that pride may have contributed to the extent of his situation. He said if he had kept contact with his former colleagues, he may have made it out of the “unemployment rut” quicker.
“I had wonderful relationships with most of the people I worked with on Generations. A couple of things got in the way because immediately after I left the soapie I moved back to Cape Town. But then I did Villa Rosa and then the number of years went by and I lost contact with them. Pride got in the way, because when I was finally in a desperate situation, I didn’t want to call those people to say ‘please help’.”
Roderick said he was constantly caught between wanting to do things by himself and asking for help. He said that pride is a “horrible thing” and that he’s certain had he reached out to his former colleagues things may have been different.
However, he’s peaceful with the turns his life took and thanked God for his “new beginning” that came through Rhythm City.