Eric Macheru – Actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Photos by Lucky Duck Communications

“I aspire to leave behind a legacy characterized by kindness, hope, and love,” stated Eric Macheru, an actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist hailing from Limpopo. Eric is widely recognized for his notable achievements in football, his involvement in the immensely popular drama series Skeem Saam, and his philanthropic endeavours through the Sunflower Foundation. In this interview, we delve into Eric’s personal journey, his ongoing projects, and his aspirations for the future.

MUZI: You rose to prominence through your successful football career, having played for esteemed teams like Ajax CT and Platinum Stars. Following your retirement from soccer, you transitioned into the acting industry, where you have garnered recognition for your roles in prominent television productions such as Inkaba, Mfolozi, and the highly popular series Skeem Saam. Did you anticipate achieving such a remarkable acting career after concluding your time in football? Furthermore, could you share your experiences and reflections on your journey thus far?

ERIC: The journey thus far has been quite remarkable, filled with both triumphs and setbacks. Initially, I held modest expectations for my career in the acting industry, never envisioning the incredible opportunities that would come my way, including being cast in renowned shows like Skeem Saam and others. However, my true aspiration has always been to become a TV presenter and work behind the scenes in television, media, and advertising. It is truly awe-inspiring to find myself in the current position I hold as one of the lead actors in one of South Africa’s most prominent shows. I consider it a true blessing for which I express gratitude each and every day.

MUZI: I notice that you have a significant presence on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, and it is evident that you have amassed a substantial following. However, you have maintained a humble demeanour as a public figure. In your downtime, you prioritise quality moments with your family and close friends, as well as engaging in promotional activities for your Gin brand. I am curious to know the significance of your private life to you.

ERIC: While I may not be particularly enthusiastic about social media, I recognize its purpose and the reasons why individuals utilize it. Nevertheless, I primarily employ social media as a means to promote the businesses and brands I am affiliated with, such as Skeem Saam, Have Wings Restaurant, The Blaq Gin, my foundation, and my events company M-squared. Aside from this professional context, I do not place much significance on social media, except to potentially bolster the visibility of certain brands.

I am adamant about maintaining a clear distinction between my personal life and the online realm, as I highly value my personal space. Consequently, I make a concerted effort to safeguard my private life. The preservation of my personal life and the well-being of my family are of utmost importance to me.

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 aspire to leave behind a profound legacy characterised by kindness, unwavering hope, and boundless love for all those who have witnessed my journey and found inspiration in my actions and future endeavours. My ultimate objective is to instil hope in every individual and be a beacon of positivity, embracing life wholeheartedly. I am deeply committed to cherishing my own existence, valuing my loved ones, and extending a helping hand to those around me, always eager to contribute wherever possible. This is my essence, and my approach to embracing life with simplicity and love.

Instagram: @ericmacheru

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