After the curtain falls and the applause ends, Four Corners actor Brendon Daniels makes sure he remembers who he is and where he comes from.
Brendon, 46, from Eerste River, who grew up in Blackheath, did not have it easy becoming the renowned actor that he is today.
He is now running the Ownership Project until July where he is speaking to pupils to encourage them on their educational journey and career choice.
He has visited Beacon Hill High School’s 181 Grade 12s, Princeton’s 131 Grade 12s and spoke to drama pupils of all grades at Cedar High School of Arts in Rocklands.
He received a warm welcome from the Grade 12 pupils at Princeton High School in Woodlands.
“Matriculants,if you’ve reached this point in your life that tells me you’ve already got the necessary tools to become what you want to become even if your circumstances at home are frustrating,” he said.
The pressure is high for matrics he said, but “you have teachers supporting you, no matter where you find yourself”.
Brendon said when he was younger he could not see himself in a suit and tie job talking on the phone behind a desk for eight hours.
He would apply for these jobs but leave shortly after.
His aunty found him a job at the N1 Hospital to be a cleaner at the operating theatre section of the hospital, after leaving his suit and tie jobs, he said.
He needed to find a job to afford basic things and listened to music to occupy himself.
He said being an artist was sometimes a struggle but he does what he has to to survive.
“I did a show, bowed, the audience applauded and the show was over. I did not know how I would get home that day but I did what I could to get home. I am in the line of telling stories but it comes with a responsibility,” he said.
Ownership is the word for 2019, he said.
“One needs to take ownership of your identity, of who you are. Take the good with the bad.”
He said perseverance was worthwhile.
“Give it your all, it’s your last year. Give your best in matric. When I was Grade 11, I failed for the first time in my life, I failed maths. My uncle told me it was good I experienced failure. It will happen throughout life but it is how you get up from that,” said Brendon.
Mariam Adams, 18, a Lentegeur pupil, said Brendon’s words were helpful.
“Where he came from did not define where he wanted to be, he still made something of his life. I would like to open my own business one day, study education and become my own boss.”
Wesley Witbooi, 18, a pupil from Colorado Park, does not know what he wants to become yet. “I need to go home and think about it, think what it is I would be content with, not getting paid.”
Many people in the music industry did not make it far in music but hearing Brendon’s story changed his mind, he said.
Wesley plays the bass and acoustic guitar. He would like to join the Camillo Lombard music school called Cape Music Institute (CMI) in Athlone.
Mogamat Isaacs, principal at Princeton, said Brendon inspired the pupils.
“They took heed of the message. We need some of our role models to come back to our communities and young children to speak to them and inspire them.”
“Take ownership of Grade 12, of your exam, have more than one pen and enjoy the journey,” said Brendon.