Following the death of one of Mzansi’s top actors, Joe Mafela on Saturday night, worrying details have now emerged showing the poor pay that some South African actors get.
Joe (75), a veteran actor who has been in the industry for decades, died when the car he was driving rammed into a bakkie. Initial investigations have revealed that he did not die as a result of the accident but rather a medical condition.
Now an industry source working at Morula Pictures (The company that produces Generations :The Legacy ) has revealed the measly salaries that the star got.
Revealing exclusively to LiveMonitor, the senior employee said Joe Mafela earned R1200 per shoot. Since he did not appear on the show everyday, Joe earned about R3 600 per week which translates to R14 400 on a good month.
“Some weeks he did not appear at all. The most he got paid was R16 800 in December 2016”, the source said and added , “if we compare Joe’s experience to other American actors with the same experience, we will find that Joe would be a millionaire right now. The industry needs a huge wake up call”
Mafela, 75, spoke isiZulu so well in his acting roles that his fans believed it was his home language when, in fact, it was Tshivenda. Due to the marginalisation of Vhavenda people, generally and in the acting industry, Mafela was among those who hid their identity.
He learned several other languages, including isiZulu, which he mastered during his acting career.
The Going Up and Generations: The Legacy actor, who played the lead in numerous Chicken Licken commercials, died just before 10pm on Saturday in an accident on the M1 north between the Oxford and Houghton off-ramps in Johannesburg.
Muvhango executive producer Duma Ka Ndlovu said there were painful sides to Mafela’s life that few people knew about.
“He often spoke about the betrayal of producers and how he was always at the mercy of the white producers. He was the very epitome of what oppression is,” said Ndlovu.