Raphael Griffiths on dusting all the Muvhango hate off
When actor Raphael Griffiths joined Muvhango as Vusi Mukwevho eight years ago, he was greeted by a lot of hate for his "lack of acting skills," but he has picked himself up to earn his stripes in the industry since then.
The actor burst into the spotlight in 2009 as a presenter on SABC 2’s youth programme Q-base 28, and bagged a role on Muvhango straight after.
"When I started presenting, I knew for sure I could do it. But when I got into acting, I was not an actor and only after stepping into it I realised, 'man, you actually suck at this.' I also got a lot of people just brutalising me, everywhere even on social media and I thought, 'yoh, maybe I should quit."
Raphael said there was a time he got help from three acting coaches at once because he was not willing to accept that he was a bad actor.
He said he found mentors such as his on-screen mother Thandaza (Sindi Dlathu), started reading more books and watched endless hours of online master classes.
However, Raphael admitted that things only started falling into place after he learnt to be humble.
"It took a lot of humility for me to say, 'you know what, I was never taught to quit and if everyone thinks I'm bad, then I'm just gonna work at it until I get better.' I respected the craft and I really wanted to be great at it and I had to humble myself to begin to learn, so I did. It wasn't easy but it was worth it at the end."
The actor said he was glad he stuck it out and didn't quit because he would have otherwise missed out on opportunities such as his new gig on Imbewu: The Seed.
Raphael said he had Duma Ndlovu to thank for the constant motivation to do better.
"The faith that uBab'Duma had in me kept me going. Because when the whole country was saying, 'fire this guy, he's a bad actor', he chose to believe in my potential."
Now, after growing to be a firm favourite on Muvhango as Thandaza'a son Vusi, the actor is busy shooting on e.tv's new drama Imbewu: The Seed starting in April.
The new drama focuses on the lives of two brothers in a multi-cultural KwaZulu-Natal and seeks to show cultural and traditional elements that the families are built on.
Raphael plays the son of one of the brothers and says his character is one to look out for in the drama.