Desmond Dube - Funny and oh so very generous
Away from the cameras, the 41-year-old husband, father and churchgoer leads a quiet life.
It is hard to take funny man Desmond Dube seriously.
Who can blame me? The man is a comedian and prankster who has kept many South Africans in stitches for a long time.
Away from the cameras, the 41-year-old leads a quiet life. He is a churchgoer of the huge Soweto-based Zoe Bible Church congregation, a hands-on father of three girls and a loving husband.
"I am a dedicated family man and deeply in love with my wife. We were good friends before we started dating. She was at Wits University when we met, studying international relations.
"I was doing a short course there. We dated for about two years before I popped the big question," he says.
Dube, who is known for his television work, including Suburban Bliss, Dube on Monday, Joburg Bliss, Friends Indeed, Soul City and SOS,says when he proposed marriage his wife told him that she was not ready.
"I was devastated, but I had to wait, because I was so in love," Dube says.
"She is a beautiful, highly intelligent woman. I was worried that I would bore her because I am truly young at heart. I still play TV games and I surround myself with young people.
"That is why I was never attracted to older women. No older woman would stand me."
About his three girls he says: "I love my children with every beat of my heart. They are my joy. They are special because they are girls. Girls have the ability to melt your heart".
"I spend as much time with them as I can. I want to give them what I missed when I was a child. I come from a generation in which parents did not express their love."
Dube, who came to Johannesburg from Kimberley in 1997 to fulfil his dream of becoming an actor, is also a philanthropist.
He says in Johannesburg he learnt to give. He is involved in several charities, educating and feeding destitute people.
"When I arrived I had just dropped out of a teaching college because of financial constraints. Things did not work the way I had planned and I struggled, living from hand to mouth. My hardships taught me to give," he says.
Dube, who was spotted by the legendary Thespian Gibson Kente when he staged one of his plays in Kimberley, says his role model is veteran actress Lillian Dube, who took him under her wing.
"Where I lived, Mam' Lillian had a casting agency. She took a liking to me and decided to sort of adopt me. I spent so much time in her house because we had a lot in common. What attracted me to her was her streetwise nature, admirable work ethic and funny nature," Dube recalls fondly.
He is now channeling his philanthropy into other avenues. He hosts Jack Up Your Shack on e.tv on Saturday at 1pm .
In the show, viewers get an opportunity to revamp their homes. Each episode features two families competing to see who can make the best renovations to their houses, within an allocated time.
"The show started with a conversation between myself and Lee Doig, an industry friend," Dube says.
"It grew as a concept. We were driving in an area of Mthatha, Eastern Cape, and we were inspired by how people took care of their houses, even though they were in a rural area. We decided to do the show to inspire other South Africans."
He says each episode has lots of funny, dramatic, playful and touching moments.
"I've been to homes where there was no food. In some cases, the children ate only once a day. But, they were full of love. The show will really spark that giving streak in viewers."
DESMOND DUBE'S FIRSTS
"It was a Toyota Corolla 1.8. It was a second-hand car. I bought it on lay-by. I was doing theatre work and could not afford to pay the whole amount. It was R22,000 and that was a lot of money then."
"It was in High Point, a high-rise in Hillbrow. During those days Hillbrow was the place to be. It was a bachelor flat."
"I worked in a carpentry shop as a stock keeper. It was owned by a man I used to do garden work for when I was 11. In my spare time I used to sell fruits and vegetables in people's homes. My granny had a fruit and vegetable stall so I used to help her."
First TV role
"It was in a show called Friend Indeed. I was cast among people who were respected in the industry. Choreographer Somizi Mhlongo was playing the lead role, and I had a supporting part as his brother. Being with people of his calibre, who were popular artists, was big for me - and so was getting paid hourly."