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INTERVIEW: Christopher Jaftha Joins Top Billing

The former reality star may have missed the opportunity to present SABC 3’s flagship show, but the channel knows talent when it sees it! He made the Top 5 on SABC 3’s hit reality show Presenter Search On 3 and viewers around the country were distraught that Christopher Jaftha wouldn’t be gracing their TV screens. Luckily for us, SABC 3 has seen Chris’s potential and offered him a presenting gig on the glamorous television show regardless. We caught up with the star shortly after it was announced that he would be joining the team.

You didn’t make the top 3 on Presenter Search On 3. What went through your head after all the hard work you put in and being told that you have been eliminated?

I had no hard feelings at all, and was happy for the winners. However I was a tad confused as to why I never placed at all. I later made sense of it. I would not have been readily available to present for Top Billing as I was going straight into the West Side Story rehearsals and I have a TV series playing on SABC 3 titled Roere Jou Voete. I am also playing in Sleeping Beauty from November at the Joburg Theatre and realised that everything happens for a reason, and that I didn’t need the win as much as any of the other contestants.

You’ve now joined the Top Billing team! What sparked SABC 3’s decision to bring you on board?

I don’t know for certain, however, I could possibly have been one the stronger
contestants towards the end and I think they saw that and wanted to wait for the perfect opportunity to use me (seeing that I had already had so many other commitments).

What went through your head when you found out that the channel wanted you on board?

Everyone said from the day I was eliminated that it wasn’t me, and wasn’t about my performance but other factors (unknown to me) came into play. I was so happy when I found out. I felt vindicated – like my hard work and determination had not gone unnoticed. I couldn’t sleep because my adrenaline had spiked. Whenever I have something big to share, I tell my parents first, and then my closest friends.

What is it about Top Billing that attracts you to the show?

Besides it being the best of the good life, I think that your presenting style and what you say can have a huge impact on others and it’s a great platform to do that. I stand firmly on the belief that media and entertainment is a platform to inspire and change lives for good. It’s a show with prestige and class and I love that.

What do you bring to show that none of the other presenters have?

I don’t think anyone else is as crazy as I am, however I can balance it out with the class and sophistication that everyone else has in abundance.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned on Presenter Search On 3?

I had to learn to be myself on camera. I always play a character and hide behind that character in front of the camera. Being yourself on camera makes you so vulnerable and it’s scary because people judge you and not a character. The sooner I learned to be myself, the more I started to enjoy it and the more it translated to the viewers and judges.

You recently starred in West Side Story as well. How different is it preparing for a TV shoot than a stage production?

TV shoots such as presenting is on the go and very fast paced, so you don’t have time to study but rather just have a good background on what it is you’re going to be presenting or talking about. With a stage production you have more time to discover a character, learn his ways and where he comes from. With presenting, there’s too much information to learn off the cuff in one or two days. The one thing they have in common is that when a something unexpected happens you’ve got to make it work and you can really create some magical moments as well.

Now that you’ve joined Top Billing, what else is on your bucket list that you still want to achieve?

You will see me in some really good feature films. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but it’s going happen. I’ve done five local TV films already and they were a great success. So I’m being patient, trusting God and waiting my turn.

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