Executive producer and actor Shona Ferguson has reflected on how Hollywood producers and fellow actors treated him as an outcast in the industry.
The mistreatment happened 17 years ago when he was still trying to break into the industry.
In a lengthy Instagram post, he explained how he turned things around and made a success out of his career, despite being rejected.
“A moment of reflection – 17 years ago, a Hollywood producer asked me if I had a back-up plan. I was obviously shattered because I had just done multiple takes of an audition. He continued to say: ‘You don’t have what it takes.’ An agent told me it wasn’t going to be easy to get me jobs because I didn’t have the right ‘look’. A veteran actor, loved and respected by millions, told me I am not memorable and so did a lot of producers. Many actors criticised me and made bets that I would never make it in this industry. In 2010, I eavesdropped on a couple of fellow actors saying I was overrated and didn’t have real talent. The insults got personal,” he wrote.
“Anyway, I don’t hold grudges the same way I don’t listen to anybody’s opinion about my life. I’ve given most of these folks, agencies and naysayers work opportunities regardless. Some are on my payroll and some would rather starve than work for me, and that’s OK. I’m not for everyone and not everyone is for me,” the actor continued.
There was a time in my life I couldn’t afford toothpaste and I brushed my teeth with sunlight bar soap. I had bogobe (pap) le cabbage for years because I couldn’t afford meat. We were so broke we couldn’t afford paraffin for lamps. We didn’t have much but God was with us. We prayed day and night. To this day, the prayers haven’t stopped. Thank you mom and dad. Thank you Jesus.”
Shona went on to say that it was the darkest times and toughest battles that made us strong.
“There’s no human being on this planet who can break my spirit because you did not build me. God did. I am what and who God says I am. Blessed. This is in no way saying life is perfect. No! The weapon will be formed but it will not prosper.”
He went on to write that he had learnt more from his failures than successes.
“With every level of success comes new devils, so you can never stop praying and feeding your soul with positivity, love and gratitude. We are not at war with the flesh anymore or strangers’ opinions on social media, as many believe. For the devil to defeat you, he has to control your mind,” Shona wrote.
“If I can motivate one person with this post, my job is done. It’s not about likes or comments. I just want to reach that one person who needs a little encouragement. God loves you. Sending you positive vibes only.”
His post received a lot of reaction from people thanking him for motivating them and sharing his past.
Fellow actor Bohang Moeko said: “God is good, what a testimony. Thank you for sharing. This will help and encourage so many people. Certainly has done that for me.”
Actress Manaka Ranaka commented: “Look at God. You have done well Mr Sho.”
Then Lerato Nxumalo said: “Thank you for sharing sir. Such a motivational message for every artist out there.”
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