Home Celebrity Buzz PICS: 6 South African celebrities who ruined their own careers

PICS: 6 South African celebrities who ruined their own careers

It is often said that the brightest stars fade the fastest. Sometimes we come across celebrities who were born to be stars, and we can usually identify the spark in them from the word GO. But living in the spotlight is never easy, especially for those who were either young or unprepared when they got famous.

Some celebrities end up accidentally sabotaging themselves, and in this age of technology, the internet never forgets.

Here are some celebs who ruined their own careers.

Jub Jub

Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye was a shooting star. He was making it big as a rapper, and his career was all the way up. By all indications, he was going to be one of Mzansi’s top hip hop sensations, until he threw it all away with one fatal mistake.

The rapper used to do drugs, and one time, he and his friend got high and royally messed up. They went racing close to a school, causing an accident that resulted in the death of some children, and lasting damage to the brains of survivors.

Jub Jub went to prison for the crime. Although he has since been released and re-entered society, it has not been the same. He was the host of Moja Love’s reality TV show Uyajola 9/9, up until he made some damaging statements about his exes, causing him to be benched.

Does controversy just follow him, or does he go looking for trouble? We may never know.

Nonhle Thema

There was a time when actress Nonhle Thema was Mzansi’s It girl. She was on the level that Minnie Dlamini and Bonang Matheba currently are, and everything she touched would turn to gold. But she quickly learned the power social media can have if used recklessly, as it is how she came to the end of the road.

It started slowly: she would go online to brag and show off. At some point, it became pretty clear that she believed her own hype and started to take the power she had for granted, and thus came her downfall. She had a meltdown on social media, which attracted everyone’s attention, including the brands that had endorsed her. One by one they cancelled their deals with her, and she fell sharply off the grid.

Now she only gets small supporting roles. From her Instagram page, it is very clear that she still basks in her former glory, as her feed is littered with pictures from her heydays. She has struggled to build herself back up, and her great image seems to be lost forever.


Musician Sipho Charles Ndlovu, popularly known as Brickz was a sensation way back. But it all came crashing down when rape allegations were leveled against him, and he did not beat the charges.

His decline started slowly too. At some point, he would fight with his manager. Perhaps some of his actions were a cry for help, but he didn’t stop. When he was accused of rape by his niece in 2013, and he maintained a brave face as he suffered financial ruin. The court battle took four years, after which he was found guilty.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and as of 2021, he is still serving his sentence at the Krugersdorp Prison in Johannesburg.

Zola 7

Bonginkosi Dlamini, aka Zola 7 was Mzansi’s golden boy. He gained popularity because of his music, but the country fell in love with him for his charity work, as he loved to help the less fortunate.

He was accused of rape, and his wife later opened physical assault charges against him. Numerous ex girlfriends, all who remained anonymous, allegedly also came forward to accuse him of the same thing. He said all such claims were part of a smear campaign, and clung to his innocence. But it was all too late, and he lost everything.

The last he was heard of, he had accepted his ancestral calling and become a fulltime traditional healer.

Vinolia Mashego

Vinolia “V-Mash” Mashego was one of our favourite talents on Generations. She was also making it big as a TV host and an MC, and for a while, it seemed like there was no stopping her.

That was until she was found walking around naked in a block of flats in Pretoria. She was arrested, and her public image took a big blow. She also lost her iconic roles, and brands that were behind her pulled their partnerships to protect their image. For a long time, she became fodder for gossip, as she was rumoured to have gone broke.

It took another 13 years before she was able to find her footing in the industry again, and she returned as Kwinana in Giyani: Land of Blood. Unfortunately, she died shortly after, peacefully in her sleep. Although she wasn’t able to recover her full former glory, she had regained Mzansi’s respect, and she is forever fondly remembered as one of our OG actresses.

Steve Lekoelea

Steve Lekoelea had a chance to do things right, but he made a few wrong turns that led him to a dead end. The footballer had hit his career high as one of our greatest midfielders, and he left many teammates feeling inferior because of his talent.

But he chose to retire early, which in itself, is not a terrible decision. However, he was reported to have gone wild with his money post-retirement, partying irresponsibly. He was said to have turned to gambling and wanton drinking, and even got into fights in clubs because of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

As of 2020, he was reported to be living in Vaal, still enjoying his drink. He has spoken of his dream to one day coach Orlando Pirates, but we cannot tell whether a deal like that would be on the table.

After reading these stories, we understand why some celebrities choose to keep a low profile: you never know which tweet or public appearance will be the one to end life as you know it. There is a lesson here for all of us to learn.