There was a time when actress Asanda Foji was told that the only way she could “break into the industry” was by faking a smile and acting flashy on social media, advice that result in her spiraling into sadness and frustration.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE about the constant pressure to look good and “keep up appearances” on social media, Asanda said it left her feeling empty.
“I was told by friends and industry peers to keep up with other celebs on social media, to do what they do. I was told to smile and act like I was always winning. I felt down, like it was getting to me. It frustrated me that I had to do this to break into the industry and that everyone in the industry acts the same. I felt like cr*p,” she said.
She said that she was an honest person and when the pressure got too much she “couldn’t continue lying” to herself.
“People are crying on their bed but have to post pictures of themselves smiling, even if the picture was taken six months ago. I couldn’t continue lying. There was a point where I decided that I didn’t want to do that. Social media didn’t control me,” she said
Despite this, the pressure to keep up with her peers affected her, especially when she decided in her first year of acting to invest her money and not spend it on a car.
“I couldn’t buy a car in my first year when my colleagues were buying new and flashy cars. I would take uber and people would think I was not a celebrity. It was a very sad moment for me. I stood there in the rain, in the cold. It was the worst thing for me. I was taking pictures with people but I didn’t feel like a celebrity,” she said.