SA Actors Who Ditched Acting For A Steady Paycheck Behind the Camera

It is a known sad fact that being an actor in South Africa is not much of bank breaker. For many professional actors, a second source of income is always essential. For some, like the mentioned people on this article, working behind the scenes afford one a chance to have a steady income and still be part of this industry. 


These are 5 actors who made a splash on local tv screens and seemingly disappeared at the peak of their fame. While most people leave the industry completely for the security of a steady paycheck in the corporate world, these actors did not ditch the industry completely and continue to make great strides behind-the-scenes in the industry. 
  • Letitia Masina


Anyone who grew up watching tv in the 90s knows who Letitia is. Her big break came with former Etv soap, Backstage. Since leaving the show way back when, Masina has amassed a plethora of industry chops as a producer. She is currently the MD of BonngoeTV Production company. 

She has worked on education programmes like Education Express, Making Moves, entertainment and magazine properties such as the Afro Cafe live music show, Afro Showbiz News for SABC News and Mzansi Insider to mention a few.

She has also produced awards shows for television, namely Metro FM Awards and the Crown Gospel Awards. On the personal front, she is married to Fortune Masina, The Twins Hlelo and Ntado's big brother. 

  • Portia Gumede

Portia is an industry unto herself. The prolific actress has an impressive resumè in the industry as a tv and film actress. What hasnt she done? A household name in television after roles in Hard Copy, Home Affairs, Going Up Again, Backstage, Egoli, Soul City as well as Leon Schuster’s film, Oh Shucks, I’m Gatvol, Gumede continues to be a formidable force and influence behind the scenes with production credits on shows such as Inkaba and Gold Diggers. 

She owns Paw Paw Production companies and also works with Ochre Media. 
  • Charl Timotheous

Charl was one of the original cool kids of TV back in the early 2000s as part of the soap Backstage cast. His character Ziggy was a hit with the ladies and the actor became the envy of many young many. Since Backstage, the star appeared on a few ads and faded off the screen. 

Currently, he is the currently in charge of all the advertiser-funded shows on KykNET, the Afrikaans channels available on DSTV. 


  • Makgano Mamabolo

Makgano Mamabolo is best known for her acting stint on Mazinyo Dot Q. This National School of Arts and AFDA graduate has appeared in numerous tv shows from Home Affairs, The Lab and Heartlines, to name just a few. Currently, Mamabolo is well respected producer and co-owner of Puo Pha Productions which is a production company that is responsible for shows like the SABC1 hit Society and over 30 made-for-tv Ekasi Stories on etv. 

Honorary mention is the original IT Girl, Ms Zandi Nhlapo. She made her TV return 2 years ago with a stint as a presenter on etv's Cooking Gospel. However, what most people may not know is that the former TV darling is a very reputable events planner who caters some industry events under her company. 



Lesson here is that you can not just rely on acting jobs if you want to have a financial stable life. Often as an actor you would have to do other things to supplement your income. 


Other actors such as Thapelo Mokoena, Terry Pheto and Lunga Radu, to name just a few, dabble between on screen and trailblazing in the business side of the industry as well. 



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