Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Nandipha Pantsi
3 minute read
3 Sep 2015
8:00 am

‘I’ve been given a second chance’ – Tina Jaxa

Nandipha Pantsi

Life has not been easy for Tina Jaxa.

Tina Jaxa poses for a picture during an interview with The Citizen in Randburg, 3 April 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

After her estranged husband and father of her two children, Prosper Mkwaiwa, died earlier this year, the 44-year-old actress made headlines for being involved in a feud with his girlfriend over the estate. But despite the drama in her life, Jaxa is adamant about being one of our country’s best actors.

She recently scored a leading role on e.tv’s new telenovela Gold Diggers, where she plays Mbongeni Ngema’s second wife. “I started shooting Gold Diggers a day after Prosper died,” she says solemnly. “It was difficult, but I’ve learned whatever happens in my personal life, my work must never suffer. I have to deliver the best I can, no matter what.”

Jaxa took a break from the small screen after marrying Mkwaiwa in a lavish ceremony that was the talk of the town for months. After they divorced, she moved to Cape Town, where she lived for nine years until she recently moved back to Johannesburg.

It was clear Jaxa was back with a bang when she walked away with two South African Film Awards (Saftas) for her roles on SABC 1’s Intersexions and feature film Of Good Report.

“I’ve been given a second chance at my career and I’m not going to mess this up. I’ve changed a lot over the years.

“I’ve gained a lot of wisdom. I acknowledge all of my past mistakes and understand tomorrow is always an opportunity to do better.”

The actress says she is still coming to terms with Mkwaiwa’s death. “I didn’t take any leave after Prosper died because my character on Gold Diggers is very demanding. In some ways keeping busy also helped me deal with it. But meditating has brought me closer to God and helps me to detach from things that affect me negatively.”

While she’s careful not to judge her gold-digging character May Gumede, she says she is nothing like her. “I’m not that mad,” she says with a laugh. “There is one very chilling scene where she is gangraped, but instead of dealing with the emotional and physical pain she’s gone through, she’s busy thinking about how she can get money out of the whole situation. I consciously had to step out of myself to portray her more so than any other role I’ve played.”

Jaxa believes Gold Diggers sheds light not only on the lives of mine workers but also on the lives of the women who are close to them – their wives, girlfriends and prostitutes. Jaxa says viewers should get used to seeing a lot more of her now that she’s relocated back to Johannesburg.

“Being in Joburg makes it easier for me to get more work, so between acting and spending time with my children, I’m going to be very busy.”

About Tina Jaxa

  • She played Eve Sisulu in Madam and Eve
  • In 1993, she appeared on the very first episode of Generations and spent many years with the show.
  • She’s been on a number of soapies and dramas including Isidingo, Intersexions, Shreds and Dreams and Montana