Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Small-screen heavyweight Stephen van Niekerk has a track record that many actors must be envious of.
Time sure does fly when you're gazing at a handsome man - it has been 10 years since he began his acting career. Playing a variety of characters on M-Net and the SABC has left him little time for indulging in fast food.
Acting was not Van Niekerk's first or second choice for a career. He was interested in homeopathy .
"Sadly, I didn't have the confidence to pass the interview for homeopathy. I was so shy I couldn't even hold a conversation," he says.
Ironically, he then studied drama at the Pretoria Technikon.
"Most people have the confidence before they study drama. I had to study drama to get confidence," he says.
Evidently his lack of confidence has been cured. He has since acted in Snitch, Home Affairs, Egoli, 7 de Laan and now Isidingo.
Today he talks about the joys of cheeseburgers because being a chubby child has motivated Van Niekerk to steer clear of greasy food.
"It is convenient to have fast food between shoots. But I have learnt how to make it healthier. Once you cut out the sauces, the calories drop off and you have a healthier meal."
The first cheeseburger he tries is from an unlikely source. Pick n Pay's cheese-burger takes him by surprise.
"This is pretty damn good. It's nice and fresh and the patty is amazing. It's delicious. I don't really want to know what makes it so delicious, though - it probably isn't so healthy."
Next is a Woolworths cheeseburger.
"This one looks good. For presentation, it's a winner. It has a very clean taste, but I think burgers should have a messy flavour. I want to get some of the juices on my face when I eat a burger."
He easily recognises the next burger from an anonymous line-up.
"A Wimpy burger is unmistakeable. It's an old family favourite that brings back so many childhood memories. It has a very definite flavour. I think the fried onions are their secret weapon. The relish also adds a fruity flavour.
The McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese is the last to be tried.
"This is too flat. It look like a flapjack. You can taste the meat the most in this burger. The bun is ultra-sweet and ultra-soft. This one looks bad, but it's actually bloody tasty."
Each burger takes Van Niekerk on a journey.
"The Woolies burger is good rehearsal food.
"McDonalds is for when I'm travelling overseas. I've had them in England, Ireland, New Zealand, America and so on.
"Wimpy reminds me of those Saturday mornings spent shopping with my parents when I was a child.
"I haven't had the Pick n Pay burger before, but those memories are definitely still coming.
"I would be able to finish all these burgers - not all at once of course - but they are all that good. Nevertheless the Wimpy burger wins it. It bursts with flavour in your mouth. It's good road food and of course it brings back good childhood memories."
These cheeseburgers threaten to lure him away from his healthy habits to being a cheeseburger fanatic. - Keitumetse Segoai