AJ Mafokate on Being “Born Into Fame”

Born Into Fame follows the lives of six South Africans with famous parents who are trying to carve their own paths and continue their family legacies.

The cast includes AJ Mafokate and Owami Mafokate, who are both Arthur Mafokate’s children; Phila Madlingozi, who is the son of Ringo Madlingozi; Robbie Malinga Jr, who is the son of the late Robbie Malinga; Shamiso Mosaka, who is Azania Mosaka’s daughter; and Tank The Rockstar, who is DJ Tira’s son.

We caught up with Arthur Mafokate’s firstborn child AJ, who doesn’t hold back on being born into fame, his family dynamics and filming the show:

What is your favourite part about being born into fame?

My favourite thing about being born into fame is that you are a part of a legacy, you’re a part of something that is bigger than you, you are born into something that is already established and there are so many opportunities that come with it, especially for someone in my industry. However, there are also things that are not as great, like being overshadowed by your parents’ success.

How do you feel like your dad’s success overshadows you?

To be honest, it is with the things that are sometimes in the news. It has a direct impact on my career because most of the time, people overlook us and just focus on the things that are said about our father.

Do you feel the pressure of continuing the legacy?

There is a lot of pressure to continue the legacy my dad built. He has started things from scratch that have lived on for years and years and it is his wish for me to continue his legacy. There are big shoes to fill and I won’t lie: it makes me a little nervous.

On the show, you said you weren’t sure if music was your passion or if it was something you are just doing because of your dad. What would you say your passion is?

I have not thought about that fully because music is just a big part of my life, but if I was not a musician, I would probably be a businessman and an entrepreneur. I also have interests in psychology and engineering, so it would be something along those lines.

What role do you play in your siblings’ lives?

As the oldest child in my family, I have so many roles that I play. I have sisters and I am the only boy, so they look to me for a lot of guidance and leadership. If my dad is not there, I step in and fulfil that role as best as I can.

How do you handle hard conversations in your family?

It is different for all of us. We all have different relationships with our dad. On my end, we don’t usually talk about the hard stuff that is in the media. I leave it to him to talk about it and then I’ll just take the lead from him.

As someone with a famous parent, what is the biggest lesson you have learned from watching them navigate the industry that you are in?

The biggest lesson I have learned from my dad is to keep trying. Even when you fail, it’s an accomplishment. He is not shy of failure. I learned that you have to do what you want to do and that in itself is success and I will surely pass it on to my child.

What have you learned about yourself from filming the show?

Doing a reality show is the realest thing I have ever done because it forces you to look at yourself. You have to have a lot of hard conversations with yourself. You go there with an idea of who you are and when you get there, who you are gets challenged and judged, so it makes you take a step back and look at yourself from different perspectives.

Since shooting the show, I have discovered more of who I am: the good parts, the bad parts. It has given me the opportunity to question a lot of things I do and to challenge myself into being a better version of my life.

Did you make any solid bonds with your fellow cast members?

You’re asking the wrong person. If anything, if I went on the show with good relationships, I came out with worse relationships but you will have to watch the show to see what I mean when I say that. A lot of things transpired and I can’t wait for audiences to see it unfold.

However, I think there is hope for some of us to reconcile and maybe see eye to eye.

Why should people watch?

It is arguably one of the best reality shows this country has ever seen. You will see the people you love and see their lives as they are. You will laugh, cry and celebrate with us. It is very human.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb