” I want to leave a legacy of kindness, hope, and love,” Limpopo-born actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Eric Macheru said. Best known for his football career, role in the hit drama series Skeem Saam, and philanthropic work with the Sunflower Foundation. We speak with Eric about his journey, projects, and his future expectations.
MUZI: You gained prominence through your football career which has included stints at Ajax CT and Platinum Stars. and eventually moved into the acting business, appearing in major TV productions such as Inkaba, Mfolozi and the most watched TV show Skeem Saam. Did you expect to have such a great acting career after ending your soccer career and how has your journey been so far?
ERIC: To say the least, the journey has been insane. There have been ups and downs. I didn’t expect much from the acting world, especially being in such incredible shows as Skeem Saam and others. I think I’ve always wanted to be a TV presenter and work behind the scenes in TV, media, and advertising. It’s amazing to be in the position that I am right now; I’m one of the leads at one of South Africa’s biggest shows; it’s a blessing that I am grateful for every day.
MUZI: I follow you on social media, especially Instagram, and it’s no secret that you have a big social following, yet you’re a rather modest public figure. When you’re not on screen, you prefer spending time with your family and close friends or promoting your Gin on the streets – How important is private life to you?
ERIC: I’m not a big fan of social media, but I understand why people use it and the reason behind. However, I use it to promote my businesses and brands that I work with, such as Skeem Saam, Have Wings Restaurant, The Blaq Gin, my foundation, or my events company M-squared. Apart from that, I don’t care much for social media except to hopefully push some brands, but I don’t want it to really affect my personal life, and I value my personal space a lot. So I do my best to keep my personal space private. Private life is very important to me, as is family.
MUZI: Many people are not aware that you co-own a liquor brand, The blaq gin and do a lot of work for the Sunflower foundation – How do you make the transition from acting to entrepreneurship and philanthropy seamless?
ERIC: Being a part of The Blaq gin has been an emotional roller coaster. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It’s not easy, but we keep pushing and hope to see some great results in the near future. I believe in both the brand and the team. So far, so good, and philanthropy is something I’ve always been interested in. I’ve always been a sharing and giving person; it’s like second nature to me. I don’t give it much thought. I just find myself doing it because it comes naturally to me: helping and giving people, sharing what I have.
I’ve had a wonderful relationship with the SunFlower Foundation, and they’ve been good to me; there’s nothing else I can say. We have the most beautiful relationship. It’s close to my heart because I lost my father to cancer, so it’s personal to me.
MUZI: So,iStyleBlaq adheres to the definition of black success, which is “someone who is black and demonstrates great qualities and abilities that make the black community proud,” and with that said, I consider you a black success story – What does black excellence mean to you?
ERIC: I see black excellence as us, the black youth, rising above our disadvantages and making the best of what we have by helping those around us and growing together as a community of black people, supporting each other, buying black-owned products, supporting black-owned businesses, and simply being a fruitful community for everyone around us. I believe that simply supporting each other goes a long way towards developing a better future, better leaders, better fathers, better mothers, and simply having a good support structure for each other.
MUZI: Finally, what’s next for Eric after an incredible journey that includes playing professional football, appearing on our screens in major TV productions, being the face of clothing brand Samson, and co-owning a liquor brand?
ERIC: What is next for Eric after the journey that I’ve had? I’m grateful for the experience. I’ve had an okay, if not spectacular, journey. I’ve played football, I’ve done a lot of things I’ve wanted to do, and I’m still going and carrying on, I’m still learning, and I’m still curious about what else I can do. I still want to put myself to the test and see what else I’m capable of. It’s terrifying. I’m nervous about a lot of things that are possible for me and what else I can accomplish because I don’t put limits on myself and I know there is still so much for me to do.
Yes, it’s going to be amazing to watch, and I can’t wait. God will continue to bless me, the universe will continue to bless me, and my ancestors will continue to bless me. I eagerly await Eric Macheru’s next phase.
MUZI: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
ERIC: I’d like to leave a legacy of kindness, pure hope, and love for everyone who has looked into my life or found inspiration from me and all that I’ve done and where I’m going in life. I just want to give everyone hope, and someone who loved life, and loved himself, loved family, loved people around him, and was always ready to go and help wherever he could, yeah that’s just me and yeah love life easy.
Images from Eric’s instagram.