As with most parents, Marjorie Langa’s mom always wanted the best for her. She worked day and night to give her daughter a proper education and ensure she got the best of what life had to offer. And so, Langa (now best known for her role as Gloria in Scandal!) went on to receive a degree in medical technology, spending six years of her life working as a microbiologist.
“It was fun while it lasted,” she says. “But I was never really happy.”
The problem was that Langa pursued what her mother thought best instead of what she herself desired.
Though excellent at what she did, her heart was not in it.
“In the old days, acting wasn’t seen as a sustainable career. If you were a nurse or a teacher, then you were on the right track,” she says.
But Langa wanted more. She understood things had changed –the job you have today isn’t always a guarantee of a stable income and a meaningful pension at the end of it. The future is uncertain and following your passion often involves taking a risk.
“People see you on screen and they assume you’ve had it easy. Let me tell you something, I struggled. I stood firm and fought for my dreams,” Langa says.
She had always been told she was in the wrong industry. Sitting in the laboratory with trays of specimens all day, Langa joked around continuously, her flamboyant character desperately seeking an outlet. Resigning from her position, without anywhere to go, she went on to pursue acting.
“My mom said: ‘I’m not going to help you’. I was all on my own. I’d do odd jobs here and there. God had given me this talent and I had full faith he was going to follow through,” Langa says.
“I got my first gig and I didn’t even know what an audition was. I thought it was an interview. I bought myself a formal black suit from Truthworths. It was for a Cell C advertisement and all we had to do was laugh. I went from job to job. I’d get a commercial and pay my rent upfront, then eat what I could. I ate rice and soup for many days.
“If people say I can’t do this or that, it’s because they don’t want to. We all have the power to achieve our dreams, but you can’t wait around for it to happen to you. You need to make the first move and God will connect you with the right people.”
> Catch Marjorie Langa on e.tv’s Scandal Monday to Friday at 7:30pm
> Follow her on Twitter: @Marjorie Langa