Seasoned actor, Lehasa Moloi, has been under the radar for some time now. This is due to the fact that work has been hard to come by – and also because he is quite selective of the work he does, as he is looking for jobs that will help him grow.
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“On one hand, there hasn’t been much work available. On the other hand, I am looking for challenging work that will help me reach my full potential, so I must turn down certain things. It’s a strange paradox,” he says.
The former Broken Vows actor has always emphasised the need for entertainers to have multiple streams of income.
“At the moment, I’m busy with other projects such as pitching for TV shows and films, my photography company, and using my social media footprint to earn a living,” he says.
The star, who doubles up as a writer, feels that storytelling in South Africa is only used to make money and that there are stories that remain untold.
“The storytelling landscape is biased mostly to what has previously sold. As a result, there’s a whole spectrum of stories that is largely untapped. From language to genre and execution, we stick to the same things. This is why growth is so slow. We have a long way to go before we can say South African stories are being told enough,” he explains.
He says that people who have had their time in showbiz need to make space for fresh talent.
“The old guards need to move up or out, and fresh energy needs to come to the fore. Internationally, you see voices like that of Michaela Coel and Ramy Youssef emerging and stretching the limits of what was previously considered a story. This is not an open up the industry plea, but a call for inclusion across cultural, language, orientation, ability and creative lines.”
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As a father, Lehasa says he is not interested in receiving accolades. He would rather positively impact lives, including that of his offspring, and leave a true legacy.
“One of always doing your best and serving. It’s one thing to receive accolades, but once you positively impact lives, change mindsets and challenge convention, you step into a realm of true legacy,” he adds.
In recent months, several actresses have come forward with claims of having experienced sexual harassment on set. Lehasa tells TRUELOVE that this issue is one that has not been adequately dealt with. However, he says he is one of the few people who are willing to stand up against this scourge.
“It’s a long way from being dealt with in this country because anyone who speaks out will likely never work again. Imagine getting that reward for your courage. I think we need to legislate protections for the most vulnerable in the industry, specifically actresses. That’s the only way real change can happen.
Myself and others have stepped up and vowed to stand against sexual harassment. We want to give individuals tools that will help them fight back, like education around appropriate conduct and how to stamp out harassment when it is happening,” the 34-year-old star says.
While it has become common for women to experience sexual harassment, he says men also fall victim to this.
“Sexual harassment is more prominent and more aggressive towards women. But there’s also an unfortunate view of it being acceptable when it is against men. The true war on our hands is to protect the most harmed and right now, that is women," he concludes.