They say, first appearances matter. As such, Chris Jaftha’s smouldering good looks – not to mention those chiselled abs and six-packs – leave quite an impression.
Physical distractions aside, he’s a fantastic unassuming guy, who is grounded by strong family values, and a consummate professional.
The glamorous veneer of showbiz conceals much, like early morning calls and late night shoots.
And that’s pretty much been Jaftha’s routine, of late, as he’s busy shooting his scenes for SABC3’s Bedford Wives, which premieres on August 24.
Before you go jumping to conclusions – he plays a henchman named Robbie September. Well, a damn good-looking one at that!
He reveals, “Robbie is the right hand of Marco (one of the Bedfordview kingpins), he is the muscle, loyal, a man of honour, subtly smart, nice guy… but extremely dangerous. The character has a warmth that you can’t shy away from. The show is action packed, with a lot of comedic twists. It’s like nothing seen on local TV before.”
Interestingly, it is helmed by the inimitable Krijay Govender.
Jaftha admits, “What an absolute treat working with this lovely lady. A brilliant director and certainly an actor’s-director. I’ve worked with Krijay on High Rollers where I had a cameo, and I remember saying to myself, ‘I hope to work with her again’. She knows what she wants, she gives you freedom to be creative and she has such vision.”
On juggling many hats in an industry, where it’s become almost mandatory to do so, he has his first love.
He reveals, “What an honour it is to have joined the list of names, legendary to our industry, to be asked to join Top Billing. I was humbled to be part of the longest running and most successful lifestyle show and I’m loving it. My first love has always been on camera acting, especially for film. It’s an innate desire that I can’t escape, it’s where my purpose lies, and where destiny begins – a great platform to inspire, change lives and make a difference!”
Conversation deviated to his fitness regime and all those photoshoot calls.
Chris Jaftha Picture: Kevin Mark Pass
He laughs, “I don’t really think there’s much to Chris ‘the model’ – except that I get paid for something that I didn’t work for – so thanks mom and dad for ‘ the good gene’. That being said, don’t let it fool you, modelling is tough; it’s exhausting and a lot of the times you have to deal with harsh elements: cold, extreme heat, long hours etc.”
“I usually gym 5-6 times a week, heavy weights and a short amount of HIIT (high intensity interval training). If you want the body you desire, exercise is important but remember abs are made in the kitchen,” he adds.
Of course, he’s human, too. He does break the rules.
Jaftha admits, “When I cheat, I go all in-so like a 5 course cheat meal. My guilty pleasure would be any chutney-flavoured chips, a Russian special, steak Dagwood and fish from Akhalwaya’s.”
He also had a few other surprises up this sleeve during the tête-à-tête.
Jaftha revealed: “I can do crazy impersonations, weird sounds and accents. I also can do gumboot and pantsula dancing. I do capoeira and more (winks).”
If he’s trying to give Harvey Spectre (Suits) a run for his money, he’s doing a damn fine job!