The Education Ambassadors SA Team caught up with the man himself; Quinton Tshegofatso Morake, originating from Evaton, Gauteng. Quinton is a man with great passion for entertainment as he works behind the scenes for one of South Africa's biggest soapies.
What a lot of people don’t really know is that I was actually born in Sebokeng, Zone 13 and only moved to Evaton when I was 5 years old, so it really shows that I am a genuine product of the Vaal. My upbringing was quite hard and cold. Both my parents were struggling actors and actually had to sell their house in zone13 and move in with my Grandmother in Evaton. My mother decided to go back to school in the early 90’s, so I was literally raised by my late dad from when I was a child (hence why I try my best to bond with my mother now because I never knew a mother’s love). I attended Grade 1 and 2 in Orange Farm (Masibambane Primary School). And due to finances, I had to change schools and go for a much cheaper school. When I was 8 years old I was sent to boarding school in Bloemfontein (Castle Bridge Primary). I guess my parents couldn’t handle their financial struggles and felt one kid had to be sent away because that very same year that’s when my lil brother (Gontse Morake) was born, so I guess I was the unlucky one *sigh*. When my lil brother was born, I was in boarding school, all the way up in Bloemfontein, so I could say I didn’t bond with him either (hence why I am making it up now). Luckily my mother graduated and managed to find job while my dad was a taxi driver. At this point, this is where things began looking up. My Parents were finally making a couple of cents. I spent a year in boarding school and my teachers felt that I deserved to be in a much better school because my academic marks were sky high. I used to read a lot back in boarding school, it was the only thing that kept me sane. At that very young age, books were my escape. I got transferred to Vaal Primary School in Vanderbijlpark to go do my Grade 4. It was my first time in a multiracial school, so anxiety had the best of me. I was shy and skinny which is probably why bullies had their way with me. My dad was very well known and very…very feared, so he was my Superman while growing up, because he didn’t want to see a single tear on my eye because he would literally kill someone. Even though I became the top learner at Vaal Primary, I begged my mom to change schools because I just didn’t feel like I was fitting in plus I just couldn’t keep hiding the fact that I was being bullied. So for my Grade 5, 6 and 7 I went to Madiba Primary School in Lenasia South. I felt at home, I could finally breathe. I guess I felt more comfortable with Indians and coloureds than I felt with White people at that other school *giggles*. At this point in my life, this is where I discovered most of my talents. That is when I realised that I am very skilled when it comes to my feet. I was very good in athletics, Soccer and Dancing, this is where I realised that I actually excelled in everything that involved my feet. Yet I had brains too, so it was kinda hard for me to choose whether I was gonna go the sports route or the academic route. Im left handed and left footed, so im a special kind,I opted to be good in everything!!!
I attended my Grade 8 at South View HighSchool, this is the part of my life where I stopped being shy, overcame the anxiety and actually became a “badboy”. I used to attend school with Mzambiya (The famous Kwaito kidstar), I could say my love for pantsula dancing, rapping and just being naughty for the fun of it, was inspired by him. I became rebellious, I would still, lie and do all sorts of bad things. I am very short tempered so I was involved in physical fights almost every week yet my marks were the highest. This confused a lot of teachers because when I got into class I transformed into a nerd, on the sports ground I was a talented athlete and entertainer but on the streets, after school, you would swear I was a leader of a gang. The teachers said I suffered from bipolar and they just couldn’t keep up with me, so they had to let me go later on the year. I remember telling my mother that I don’t need school and that I could fight my way through life. It crushed her because I had clearly made up my mind about what I wanna become in life…a nobody. I went on to go live with my coloured/indian friends whom at the time I thought were cool. I mean at their age they had access to cars, nice clothes, drugs, alcohol and were naughty just like me, so I had to join the gang. In Jauary when other kids went to School, I was still roaming the streets of Lenasia South with “the gang”. It only hit me in February when my mother was diagnosed with depression because of me. I couldn’t stand to lose her; I mean I was still trying to get to know her more because she was hardly there when I was a baby. So seeing her in that state seriously knocked some sense in me and the following month I told her I will go back to school, that is the reason why I got to Suiderlig High School in March, yet I was going to be doing Grade 9. Everyone thought I was in grade 8, so I had to make a name for myself, and I did. I still thank God for making me smart because even though I have changed schools 6 times, I have never failed. I even finished my matric at 17 while most of my peers and classmates were 2 years older than me. Ever since that day, I strived hard to make my mother happy especially when it comes to education, even till now.
What were the challenges and great things about growing up?
I’m a very heartless person with a don’t care attitude. And I don’t mean heartless in a bad way, I mean it in a way that I’m thick skinned, I can take anything life throws at me. I can’t be too attached to people, I’m secretive and always hide my feelings. I don’t even cry at funeral. I didn’t even drop a single tear at my father’s funeral, but when I was alone that’s when I broke down and crashed. I still think about him every single day, I have a lot of sleepless nights about him, I cry but as soon as I step out to the world, one would never say. I know how to block things out when I’m around people. I guess me being like this is because of how I grew up, I’m used to people leaving me and me leaving them because I would change schools so much. It got to a point where I didn’t want friends because I knew they too would leave me or I would leave them. Such is life and life is such though, life owes me nothing, so I have to soldier on.
The great thing about my upbringing though, is the fact that I learn to adapt in different environments with different races, languages, and beliefs. So I have mastered the art of fitting in anywhere life takes me. I’m hood with a slight touch of snobbish. I can survive in the ghetto and in the suburbs, and that’s a very strong skill to have as a human being, being able to adapt and survive in every situation you are put under.
Your career? What is it that you do? What inspired you to do what you do?
I tell my vision through television. I’m an artist. I’m a performer. I’m a thespian. I’m a filmmaker, an MC, entertainer, my art is my career. I’m a happy soul.
I honestly don’t like telling people what I really do (my work) because I want people to see my work through me. I don’t like to brag; my work will brag for me. So for now let’s just say I work for one of the biggest soapies in the country, behind the scenes. Oh and I’m also a taxi and property owner, lol.
What do you like most about yourself and the work that you do?
“Do what you love and you shall never work a day in your life” – This is exactly how I feel about my work. I sometimes feel like I get paid to be myself and become me.
What are some of the challenges which you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
I think the first question explained most of my challenges.
But one of the hardest thing I had to accept, was the fact that not everyone is gonna love me, I’m not money.
But what really gets to me till now, is people who don’t like me for no reason, people who judge and talk bad about me for no apparent reason. At least hate me after getting to know me then I will gladly understand, because the rumours you heard about me are as fake as the person who told you. I AM MISUNERSTOOD BY MANY. I guess dogs only bark at moving things.
What are some of your life highlights for you so far? What are you most proud of?
Every time I get on stage and people scream out my name, damn I really want to treasure those moments.
Every time someone puts their pride aside and kindly ask for a picture, I get weak. I’m a sucker for kind people.
And my mother having to see me graduate twice, I will never forget her face when she saw me on that stage. Making her proud keeps me sane.
What, in your opinion, are the most important factors to keep in mind to make it in your career or life in general?
GO FOR WHAT YOU LOVE AND WHAT YOU KNOW YOU GOOD AT!!! Stop choosing a course because your parents told you to do so. Stop choosing any random course just because you wanna prove to your friends that you got accepted at College/University.
Know yourself and know what you want. God will handle the rest.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next three years?
I wanna fall in love again. Lately I have been thinking about marriage, lol, I love being in love, just gotta find the right queen. Currently working on opening a Production Company in Vaal, Acting Agency and just changing the South African television and film Industry. I’m looking at next year though; in 3years time I’ll be retired.
If there was anything you could do differently, what would it be?
I would tell my father I love him, while he was still here. And I would accept God in my life from a younger age. I have done a lot of bad thinks, a lot of mistakes but no regrets, just lessons learnt.
Are there any specific people or organisations that you look up to and draw inspiration from and why?
I’m sapiosexual. So I get attracted to smart people, especially if they funny. I’m a sucker for funny and happy people. Hence why I don’t have a type, I fall inlove with the personality. This might sound weird but, I’m always inspired by happy people.
Are there any inspiring projects which you’re involved in?
I’m always working, so probably by the time this article is out I’ll be on my next project. I wanna go back to school. I wanna go back to acting in front of the camera. I wanna give people jobs. I want to open a film school in my community, so a lot of things are in the pipeline, I just have to execute.
Lastly, what advice would you give to others out there looking to follow in your footsteps?
“Know God, know success…No God, no success
How can the public contact you?
Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Quinton Tshegofatso Morake
Website: (Do check out my videos on YouTube, just search for Quinton Morake).