African showbiz news and entertainment

Actor/Producer Shona Ferguson opens up on how broke he was before fame

South African actor and producer Shona Ferguson has become one of the most popular faces in the film industry, locally and internationally, but it was never an easy road for him.

The film mogul has taken a stroll down memory lane on social media with some inspiring messages to startups and those paving their way to the top.

Shona posted a thread detailing his life from 17 years ago before all the success and co-founding his production company Ferguson Films, alongside his wife Connie Ferguson.

In the post shared on his Instagram page Shona details his encounter with a Hollywood producer who told him he was never going to make it in the film industry.

“Seventeen years ago a Hollywood producer asked me if I had a backup plan. I was obviously shattered because I had just done multiple takes of an audition. He continued to say: ‘You don’t have what it takes,” read the post.

Connie Ferguson and Shona Ferguson
Connie Ferguson and Shona Ferguson

He added that his own agent felt that he would not get the parts he was auditioning for because he did not have the right ‘look’ for the roles.

“A veteran actor, loved and respected by millions told me I am not memorable and so did a lot of producers. Many actors criticized me and made bets I would never make it in this industry.

“I don’t hold grudges the same way I don’t listen to anybody’s opinion about my life. I’ve given most of these folks, agencies and naysayers work opportunities regardless. Some are on my payroll and some would rather starve than work for me and that’s OK,” he said.

He ended his thread explaining how it was hard for him and he couldn’t even afford toothpaste.

“There was a time in my life I couldn’t afford toothpaste and I brushed my teeth with sunlight bar soap. Had bogobe le cabbage for years because I couldn’t afford meat. We were so broke we couldn’t afford paraffin for lamps,” he said.

Ferguson’s film production company has become one of the top film companies in South Africa scooping multiple awards and producing some of the country’s best soapies including Netflix’s series Kings of Joburg.