Depression, baby daddy issues and an extramarital affair with a high-flying businessman who is married to a beauty queen that is also a media mogul almost put paid to a promising acting career – but Liopelo Maphathe is back with a bang.
Speaking to Sunday World this week, Maphathe revealed that she had hit rock bottom and now cringes when she thinks about this part of her history.
The 37-year-old explained that the extramarital affair with a businessman, whose name is known to Sunday World, resulted in the door to a number of acting gigs being shut in her face.
“This lady [the wife] would go around and block my career because I was having an affair with her husband. She would go to platforms where she has got relationships, either a producer or executive producer and she would tell them not to hire me. It happened in the beginning of our relationship and I told him what she is doing. He assured me that she did not have much power. Eventually, it worked out that way,” she said.
In her head, he was William Shakespeare's ultimate Romeo, and she Juliet.
She also admits that the relationship went on for a couple of years prior to its abrupt end in 2013. Maphathe took responsibility for her actions and later confronted but also apologized to the businessman's wife through a text in October last year.
“I had said to her I would like to apologize for what I did in the past and if I had contributed in any way towards making her unhappy. My intentions were very naive, as I was a child.
“But if what I am coming across now, which is a blockage, is due to her suspecting that my child's paternity is her husband's, I am happy to sit [down] over coffee with her to discuss that, ” she said, adding the baby daddy is a businessman with Lesotho roots.
According to the former Muvhango actress, the media mogul did not respond.
“It made me feel relieved because now I am at peace. I've taken responsibility. But I was relieved and that I had taken my power back,” she said.
She overcame depression, she notes, due to her family support. Explaining why she disappeared from the entertainment space, she said this was due to “making the wrong choices and having to live up to those choices”.
Maphathe, who was born and raised in Lesotho, studied arts and drama at the University of the Free State and then moved to Johannesburg to pursue her acting career.
She said although theatre is her first love, television took over.
“Television came with a whole lot [of things]… living to make people happy, criticism and [more]. For me, it made me feel otherwise. I felt that there was too much fame [rather] than fortune and I felt like it was going to be difficult to sustain,” she said.
She decided to take a step back from the industry when she had her daughter in 2009. “It made sense at that point in time because I wanted to see this through as a single parent.” The former Vatn Sit lead actress said it was a hard two years trying to make a comeback. “I think I am stronger now. I know what it is I want, what I stand for. I don't have to suffer the pressures of trying to be something that I am not. I am in a happy place.”
The media mogul and her husband did not respond to questions sent to them by Sunday World. Maphathe is in a supporting role on Generations: The Legacy and features in the Lebo Mathosa biopic on BET Africa.
I think I am stronger now. I know what it is I want, what I stand for.