Jerrybellz returns to local screen
Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
After his fall out with local soap “Wenera” six years ago, where he acted as Marley and had become a household heartthrob in film and television, Jerry Kujeke, affectionately known as JerryBelz, says he is returning to local television screens.
He is to star in local soap “Estate Blues” as Kenny and also got another role in “KuChina the Genesis”.
JerryBelz confirmed this development during his two-week break in Zimbabwe where he had come to do business and visit his family.
During that time, JerryBelz, who is based in South Africa, shot scenes before going to Victoria Falls where he had also a business venture.
It seemed that the “Wenera” setback affected him so much that he had to relocate to South Africa in 2018 in search of greener pastures where he got a job as a barman at Cubana Greenpoint in Cape Town.
He later got another job as an evaluator at Platinum Properties, still in Cape Town.
Lady Lucky later smiled on him after meeting a friend, Norbert Fero, who connected him to the South African television and film industry.
“I have been absent from local television for almost four years and since it was my passion, I thought that was the end of the world,” he said. “I relocated to South Africa because of business opportunities.
“At first it was not that easy as I had to work for my survival. I later met a friend, Fero, who introduced me to the acting scene again, although I had thought about quitting the profession.”
JerryBelz recently landed a role in a top South African production and was working on another Netflix production.
“I am not yet at liberty to disclose my two projects because of contractual obligations, however, this is big for my career and I am happy to be raising the country’s flag high. Watch your screens soon.”
JerryBelz said his exit in “Wenera” soap seemed to be a blessing in disguise as it opened more opportunities.
“I have featured in some advertisements and have been doing some campaigns too. It had been hard for me because I had created a brand name home and I want to thank the executive directors of the soap for moulding me to be the person I am today. I owe it to them.
“So far, I have worked on productions such as ‘African Origin’, ‘Mallificent Thunder’, ‘The Sad Nonhlanhla’. I also did modelling jobs with Moshee, House Of Rah, Kouroumas Kraft and Ackermans.
“I can say that the level of competition is very high in SA and never easy. So the acting side has been a great challenge.”
Comparing with South Africa, JerryBelz said Zimbabwe had all the talent, creative minds and good story lines, but lacked support, appreciation and opportunities.
“Look at South Africa and Nigeria, they are now way ahead of us when it comes to Netflix productions, for a start. What we need is support from corporates, and our mindset should change. Let’s tell our own story to the world, and we can only do that through film, let’s join hands and invest in the film industry.”
JerryBelz said he worked with some South African greats who include Nomzamo Mbatha, Jessica Nkosi, Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa and Lizz Meiring.
“I have learnt that in South Africa, people actually go to school for acting, there’s no substitute for knowledge. I later enrolled with Africa Film Drama Arts – school for the creative economy.”
On the business side, JerryBelz said has set up Jerrybelz Investment, a media company based in Cape Town whose mission was to make an impact on the global arena through multimedia interaction, civic engagement, digital media, social justice and youth participation.