Aside from his acting role in Skeem Saam, Maja also acted in many Thobela FM radio dramas - most noticeably as Bra Tick in Mahlakung.
Molagare said when he landed the role of Big Boy on Skeem Saam it was a dream come true for the family. She was in grade 11 at the time.
"I thought finally my family was going to move out of the village. But my father loved his village life. He had a lot of livestock, grew his own vegetables and he loved the space."
Mkhabela, who played Maja's on-screen son Leshole, said he learnt a lot from him.
"The role he played in bettering my Pedi, craft, emotions and attitude was amazing," Mkhabela said.
"Together, we told stories that reflected our day-to-day poverty stricken families. The advice he gave me in each scene, the interpretation we would share of every scene before we shoot and the comedic sense he added in every scene were legendary."
Maja was rushed to hospital after he fell ill while out to buy essentials. He was admitted for a week before he died. Molagare never had a chance to visit him in hospital because of the national lockdown restrictions.
"I spoke to him a day before he died and he was in good spirits," Molagare said.
Maja will be buried on Saturday in his home village of GaMaja near Lebowakgomo.