Jerry Mofokeng is an actor (both screen and stage), producer, and director from South Africa. The acting legend is known for making appearances in several successful films including Cry The Beloved Country, Mandela and de Klerk, Tsotsi, and other films that you will read later. Jerry is also known for his awards such as the Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film.
Did you know that earlier this year, Jerry Mofokeng became a doctor? In as much as he was only given an honorary doctorate, it is commendable that he became one of the few artists to get such an honour; with some of the other artists being Letta Mbuli and Esther Mahlangu. The doctorate did not come from just any institution, but from the University of Free State. So, who is Jerry Mofokeng, and what has he done to deserve this great admiration and recognition locally and abroad?
Born in Soweto, Jerry spent most of his childhood in Lesotho. From 1970 -1974, and 1976, he attended Orlando West High School and Youth Alive Ministries, and he then joined Wits Drama School where he majored in acting. He proceeded to the USA on a Fullbright scholarship and attended New York’s Columbia University for his master’s degree in Theatre Directing from 1987 – 1991. All this hard work was capped off by the doctorate he received earlier this year.
Who is Jerry Mofokeng wife? The learned and talented actor, who is a member of Grace Bible Church, is married to Claudine Mofokeng. The two have been together as husband and wife since June 1980, and they have five children including the famous Jerry Mofokeng son, Lerato Makhetha. The couple’s other children are Tsakane, Palesa, Mpho, and Mosa. For a long time, Jerry always assumed that he was a Mofokeng. However, his biological father is actually a Makhetha, and he found this out when he was 58 years old. He revealed this to the public in February 2017 during the South African Film and Television Awards nominations party. His biological father’s name is Dan Motlepo Makgetha. Jerry applied for a new identity, which explains his alternative name.
In the initial years of his career, Jerry used to act in the community theatre in a time when student riots were rampant. After his studies, his stellar career began in earnest in the 1990s where he started as a teacher at Wits. Jerry worked his way up the rungs from an Associate Artistic Director at The Johannesburg Civic Theatre all the way to the Artistic Director of The State Theatre in Pretoria. In the course of that stellar career, he also released numerous movies that we know and love today. He has managed to do all these with the disability in his eye, which he has lived with since high school. Jerry lost his eye during lunch break when a bottle cut him.
In other news – Ohlange Institute declared national heritage site
The historic Ohlange Institute, established by the ANC’s founding president John Langalibalele Dube and his first wife Nokutela 118 years ago, has been declared a national heritage site.
The SA Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) announced its decision on Friday in a notice published in the Government Gazette. Among its reasons for declaring Ohlange Institute a national heritage site, Sahra said the site holds high historical significance in its association with Dube’s life and work as well as the ANC. Read more