Entertainment

Foji comes clean: My acting was bad – actress leaves Generations

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Foji currently plays the role of Simphiwe, a meek rural girl who is set to marry Mazwi Moroka.

The soapie announced three months ago that her contract would not be renewed, but the reason was never given.

Before the news of her departure emerged, there were strong rumours that the producers were not impressed with her performance.

Being on a show under serious scrutiny like Generations, Foji’s television debut was like a baptism of fire.

From scriptwriters, producers, actors and creators, there was too much pressure for the soapie to live up to expectations.

The sweet but outspoken Foji admits that at first she could not crack her role.

She further acknowledges that she shot most of the scenes nervous because it was her first television role.

What made her even more nervous was the knowledge that she was being watched by millions of viewers. As much as she studied theatre acting, the Simphiwe role was a big transition for her.

“I know that my acting was not impressive.

“I was nervous most of the time. The nerves really worked against me and it showed on television,” she confesses.

Born in Mount Ayliff in Transkei and growing up in Mthatha and King William’s Town in Eastern Cape, she says she found her feet as time progressed.

“There was a lot of pressure and I was new. It’s funny that I was not intimidated by the camera and lights though,” she says.

One of Foji’s weaknesses was that she could not show emotions.

“It’s a skill I have learned as I got along.

“In my latest scenes I achieved it, maybe that is why my acting looked bad. As an actress, you constantly grow,” she said.

For someone acting on television for the first time and alongside seasoned actors like Rapulana Seiphemo, Connie Ferguson, Manaka Ranaka and Ronnie Nyakale was intimidating.

At some point she would forget her role and marvel at the stars in action. “There were times where I would forget that I was acting and looked at these people and realised how lucky I was to work with them,” she says.

The young actress does not want to share much about her impending exit, but says her character will cease in December in a very dramatic way.

Though her debut on television was a nightmare, Foji is now addicted to television acting. In fact, she wants to give stage a break and establish her profile on television.

“I think I like the excitement that comes with the lights and cameras. I would like to do both in future,” she says.

While waiting for another role on television next year, Foji has been keeping busy collecting sanitary towels for young girls in the townships and rural schools in Eastern Cape.

“I relate with their pain because I also did not have sanitary towels at times. I am targeting schools in the townships and villages. I will continue with this project until school opens next year.”

Foji knew from a young age that she was going to be an actor.

That is why when she completed her matric she went to New Africa School for Theatre in Cape Town.

When she completed her diploma in theatre, she came to Johannesburg looking for greener pastures.

She struggled to get theatre acting jobs until she decided to try her luck in the call centre and retail industry.

Her first stop was at this newspaper, where she worked at the call centre with the tough job of convincing people to subscribe to Sowetan.

In a twist of fate, Foji found herself adorning the same paper’s front pages a few months later.

She then left and got herself a job at a clothing outlet in Sandton.

She left retail when she finally landed her first stage acting at the Market Theatre Laboratory in Newtown, Johannesburg.

From there, she did industrial theatre before she was introduced to an acting agency by actor Dumisani Mbebe.

“It was the same agency that sent me to Generations audition, and I got the first acting job, which also launched my career.”

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