South Africa’s entertainment industry has been rocked by another shocker. Charles Maja, who played the role of Big Boy on the hit soapie Skeem Saam has passed away at the age of 54.
Charles Maja: What we know about the actor’s death
We are still reeling from the loss of Vinolia Mashego, but death operates at its own time and axis.
The news of Maja’s passing was shared by Skeem Saam’s Twitter account.
“ You may be gone for now but you live forever in our memories and in our hearts. Thank you so much for who you were, we love you and we wish you a peaceful sleep,” the statement read.
The 54-year-old’s family has yet to issue a public statement. Details of his cause of death have also not been released.
Some of Maja’s career highlights
Those with surface level insight into Maja’s history may have drawn a lot about the actor’s personal life from the role he played on Skeem Saam.
However, the 54-year-old was a seasoned veteran of Mzansi’s film industry.
With no formal education in drama, Maja launched his career as a voice-over actor on Thobela FM’s radio dramas, in 1984.
He would feature in more than 20 radio dramas in a span of more than 35 years.
His next big break came in 1997 when he was cast as Motlolu on SABC 2’s Ke Bona Boloi show.
The experience Maja gained on his first on-screen gig opened a flurry of opportunities which consequently led him to the troubled role of Big Boy.
In real life, Maja lived a simple yet fulfilling life. He stayed in the city during the week, filming Skeem Saam, then return home to his wife of 30 years, Sophie, on weekends.
He designed his own clothes and maintained a rural lifestyle as a Pedi royal who lived in the village where his uncle, Cecil Maja, is the chief.
To those who knew him personally, his loss will be difficult to come to terms with.
This is how his colleagues and fans paid tribute to the actor: