He is one of the presenters on the famous glamorous magazine show ‘Top Billing,’ but beyond the glitz, Christopher Jaftha is simply a man in pursuit of his passion. He takes ‘Blacklight’ through his journey to stardom.
Compiled by: Blacklight writer
Christopher Jaftha is full of zeal and character, but what attracts you to the man is his undeniable charm.
Many might know him as the man who shares the glorious spotlight with Maps Maponyane, Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Nico Panagiotopoulos on Top Billing – but Chris’ launch into the industry was through singing, dancing and acting on theatre stages.
Over the course of his career, he has performed in numerous local renditions of famous Broadway shows, such as Aladdin, Footloose, Pinocchio and recently, West Side Story.
Chris has also starred in a few local television series, with roles on Isidingo, High Rollers, Inkaba, and in Afrikaans films, Alwyntyd, Die Staat Se Bul and Skrikkeljaar.
With a life that might appear to be full of confetti, Chris’ journey is nothing but a classic tale of perseverance.
He takes Blacklight through the story of his rise to prominence.
I have been in the industry for sixteen years. Many people know me through Top Billing, but they still don’t know what I am truly capable of.
Being on the show is a blessing and I am grateful for the opportunity but I have barely scratched the surface – I have bigger dreams. I am constantly working hard so I can be able to exploit opportunities that come my way. Everyday I try to be a better version of myself, and that is not only limited to my vocation – it’s holistic.
A realistic approach to life
Rejection in this world is constant but it makes you resilient. People only get to see the end result but there is a process. I thank God that I was raised by parents who were disciplinarians. They taught me the truth about life so that I didn’t walk through life disillusioned.
Even though I was told I could be anything that I wanted to be, I was made aware of the work ethic and discipline that I needed in order to achieve success. That gave me a realistic perception of life and a thick skin.
You cannot survive in this world with a shallow foundation
There was a time when I had no jobs at all and if it wasn’t for my parents putting food on the table, I would not have made it through. Those are the times when your intentions get tested. You get to ask yourself, “Why do I want this so much?” And if it’s your innate desire then those moments only build your foundation.
It’s impossible to survive in this world with a shallow foundation and in order to get a firm foundation, you have to go deep. Life circumstances will force you to dig and dig, and just when you think you have hit rock bottom you may discover something amazing that strengthens you. I find that when you have a strong foundation it’s easier to build your career because your intentions are clearer to yourself.
Everyone wants a piece of the pie but very few will get it
Everybody thinks they can do it but, the truth is that this is the hardest industry in the world. Everyone wants a piece of the pie but very few will get it.
You must view failure differently in order to get success. You must take risks – but there is always a price to pay – and if it’s meant to be, it will happen. It’s also very important to maintain a level of humility because you need people. If you keep that sort of attitude, you will discover that when you fall, people jump to help you.
“It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude”
As an entertainer, you have to constantly be yourself. Even when real life is happening, and things are going wrong, you must still be in your element.
Because of my love for people, I find inspiration in interactions and shared moments – that gives me great energy. I live by the quote: “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude”. And I believe it has led me to this point in my life.
To attain longevity, you must go beyond the physical
Your physical attributes, unfortunately, have some sort of contribution to this industry, but I believe what’s most important is delivery. It doesn’t matter if you are the most beautiful person in the world, at the end of the day you have to deliver.
In this age of social media, it’s all about looking good but to attain longevity, you must go beyond the physical. You must nurture your talent. You may have the natural gift, but the gift is just a skeleton and you have to feed it by constantly working on your craft.
Make time for yourself
I cherish my time alone when I get it. I have learned to appreciate those moments of introspection, even if I don’t get to do or say anything, they fuel me somehow and that’s how I maintain the balance. This industry tends to be lopsided and it can take a lot of effort to make time for yourself.
I am quite a giver, and my career requires that I give myself fully but sometimes it’s important to take a time out – in order to be able to give the best of yourself, you must be your best self.