Adult contemporary soapie icon Jerry Phele is back on stage after a 25-year absence in pursuit of fortune, TV and film fame.
Phele, who became the face of long-running township TV drama Emzini Wezinsizwa, which airs on SABC1, will grace the stages at the week-long Soweto Arts Festival, which starts next Saturday.
He is featured in Herebedesh, written and directed by Darlington Michaels, popularly known as Papa G on SABC3 soapie Isidingo.
Phele, who was known as Mofokeng on Emzini Wezinsizwa, will play the role of a toddler.
Those who might miss him in Soweto do not have to despair because they will have another chance of seeing him at the Wits Theatre on December 8 and 9, where Herebedesh will be performed at the inaugural Community Theatre festival.
Phele, who left Emzini Wezinsizwa acrimoniously about three years ago, said he has missed the stage since leaving the theatre for TV in 1981.
"My heart is with the stage. It is more fulfilling for an artist because you get a response from the audience immediately, unlike on television, where you have to wait for months before you get any feedback," said Phele.
He laments that theatre, unlike TV, does not pay enough for a decent living.
"If television work comes along, I will have to take it just to earn a my living."