Uyajola 9/9’s Moss Makwati on his demanding job: “This is not a performance”
Moss Makwati (Photo: Moss Makwat Instagram)
Dressed in a slim-fit suit, he chases a man through dark streets, with the man’s mistress hot on his heels. It’s all part of the job, and he will do anything to get it done.
Moss Makwati (35) is one of the presenters of reality show Uyajola 9/9, alongside musician Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye. The show aims to expose people who are having affairs and, after a few episodes, it seems Moss’ quick thinking and fast feet make him the right man to chase after alleged cheaters. He’s had a bit of practise. Moss spent over a year running after deadbeat dads on the show No Excuse, Pay Papgeld before he moved to Uyajola.
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“You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. If the situation requires you to run, you must run to get someone to talk to you and pay attention,” Moss tells us. “It’s not Papgeld, where it is a little bit softer. Here, you have to be a bit harder in your approach,” he says.
GIVING HIS ALL
He doesn’t mind having to sprint down dark roads, shouting a person’s name with cameras following closely behind. In a recent episode, he ran after a after being found there with his alleged mistress. The confrontation turned violent, but Moss ended up running after the man in the dark.
Viewers were impressed with the lengths he went to to get the husband to talk, calling Moss a relentless cheetah because of his speedy running. The show’s producers have been accused of staging it, which Moss says is impossible. “This is not a performance. It’s about real people with real stories. You can’t fake this and me running on TV just goes to show how impromptu and unpredictable it can be.”
There were various rumours about Moss’ exit from No Excuse, Pay Papgeld in April, a show he hosted from January 2018. He was replaced by Dr Malinga and it was said Moss had left because of contractual issues.
“I had reached my ceiling,” he says. He doesn’t want to be drawn into it, though. He’s now enjoying Uyajola and calls it an interesting challenge. “The situations are tricky. I never really know how to approach them, but it has to be done.” He had to adjust very quickly to the new show. “In one of my first shows, it was 3am and I was knocking on the door, waking up a couple who were sleeping. Next to me was a woman who wanted to know if indeed her husband and father of her children was with another woman. It was a lot.”
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They went into a backroom where the couple were in bed. “Just the intensity of the stories. They are heavy situations that destroy and ruin families. It’s painful to watch and, honestly, this does not only affect me but the crew as well. I think we deserve counselling and spa treatments.” As entertaining as such shows may be, they are a reflection of issues that plague society.
“The reality is, infidelity and cheating are things that have been made to seem normal. It’s as if one must cheat to be holding things down. “What about the principles and values we were taught? Does that mean those don’t exist anymore because there are new rules to live by?” he asks. He claims the aim of Uyajola isn’t to destroy people’s lives.
“Most times, when people see me in public, they will say things like, ‘It’s not safe to be around you’ or, ‘When I see you, I just want to run’.”
A lot of people got to know Moss when he started on No Excuse, Pay Papgeld, but he’s been in the industry for years. He previously worked on the SABC1 children’s show Ntunjambili. He always wanted to be in showbiz and used to perform for his family in their dining room in Soweto. “It was always clear I was going to end up here even though I didn’t know how it would happen.” It took a while for him to get his big break, but he trusted God’s timing. “Everything that’s happening in my life is a manifestation of God’s grace. I will not take all the credit,” he adds. Moss is particularly grateful for the love and support he’s received from fans since he joined Moja Love. “It has been overwhelming.”
He gets to see the worst society has to offer when it comes to relationships. So, is he currently dating anyone? “I’m single,” he says. He’s a father of two girls and has a great co-parenting relationship with their mom. “When the time is right, God will bring me the woman I’m supposed to be with,” he adds. Because of the nature of the show, he has also had to be more private. “I don’t want to expose my children and family to my work where I get threatened by people on the show.”
Moss is always in a slim-fit suit or a formal outfit. Is this part of the job? “I’m most comfortable in a suit, especially on TV. I mean business, I’m not here to play,” he says. In an episode that has not yet aired, he wears a casual outfit and feels the person he confronted for his cheating ways was condescending. “The suit gives an authoritative edge. I love suits, it speaks to how seriously I take my work.”