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'Skeem Saam' actor Charles 'Big Boy' Maja dies

'Skeem Saam' announced Charles Maja's death on Thursday afternoon via its Twitter account.

Charles Maja. Picture: Skeem Saam Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African entertainment industry has lost yet another favourite persona as news of Charles Maja, who played Big Boy Mabitsela on SABC 1 soapie Skeem Saam, has died.

Skeem Saam announced his death on Thursday afternoon via its Twitter account.

Maja, who hailed from Limpopo, was also a well-known radio drama voice actor on the SABC's Thobela FM.

He made his debut on Skeem Saam in 2016 when he was introduced as the abusive, alcoholic father of Leshole Mabitsela, played by Thabo Mkhabela.

Maja's character soon won hearts over when he turned his life around, stopped abusing his son and instead became his pillar of strength as the pair would go through a series of heart-breaking challenges in the soapie.

The character was also well-known for adding comic relief to the soapie's serious story lines.

In an interview with Channel 24 in 2018, Maja, who had no professional training, said in real life, he was quite different from his brash character.

"Big Boy and I are complete opposites – we don’t mix. He is rough and he shouts at people while I am cool, calm and collected. I can’t stand confrontation and would rather walk away than involve myself in an argument," he told the website.

The SABC offered condolences on Maja'spassing: "The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) would like to extend its heartfelt sympathy to Mr Charles Maja’s family and friends following his passing. Mr Maja played the role of Big Boy, where he showcased his talent and won many fans with his memorable performances on SABC 1’s popular programme, Skeem Saam. His contribution to the arts will never be forgotten."

Fellow Skeem Saam actors and fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to Maja.

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