Former Isibaya actor now a Bolt driver. Actors and theatre productions have frequently criticized the South African industry for its inconsistencies. Due to numerous difficulties to make ends meet, many people have died penniless. Sayitsheni Simon Mdakhi, a former Isibaya actor, 43, has resorted to putting matters into his own hands by starting an e-hailing company after the telenovela has come to an end. He had to discover alternative sources of money, just like other actors did.
Sayitsheni, a seasoned performer, co-starred with Linda Sebezo as Saddam on Isibaya. He is also well-known for playing Speshil in the Rhythm City e.tv soap series. He has made appearances on Yizo Yizo, Tsha Tsha, and Home Affairs, among other programs. He has directed a number of plays, such as Dance Mzansi, Can I Get an Amen?, Who’s Drinking Who?, and My Hobos, to mention a few.
“There’s nothing wrong with driving Bolt or Uber. He is a father, he needs to make ends meet. Anyone can be a driver. You can finish your office job and drive after hours until midnight, sleep and go to work,” he says.
The friends say Sayitsheni started driving during the lockdown. “Times were tough, productions were not working, he had a car and it only made sense that he started driving. It also meant that he could be outside and have a permit. That is what a man does, take charge of his life and not make excuses about unemployment. I commend my friend for doing what he needed to do.
” The friend and colleague says he would never be a driver. “It’s tough for us in this industry, people recognise you, they stare and feel entitled to you. But Sayitsheni doesn’t have the celebrity mentality, so he does as he pleases, as long as he takes care of his family.”
Sayitsheni was previously married to DJ Zinhle’s former best friend and business partner Nomndeni Mdakhi, but the couple divorced in 2020.
He wasn’t the only actor who had to look for alternative sources of money. In Randburg, Oros Mampofu opened a restaurant and Tisetso Thoka opened a braai area, both of which have since closed. A coffee shop was started by Mapaseka Koetle, which she also had to close. J-Something and Ntando Duma just opened restaurants in Sandton and a kids’ hair shop, respectively.