By Gen Terblanche11 October 2023
Unfollowed: Jub Jub says, “I don’t regret going to prison”
What happens to a celeb who’s been cancelled? Showmax Original series Unfollowed takes us to meet South African stars who are wrestling with life after social media death.
In Unfollowed episode 8, the season finale, the sunglasses stay on as host Thembekile Mrototo questions former child star, singer and Uyajola 9/9 presenter Molemo Katleho “Jub Jub” Maarohanye about how he keeps coming back – even after the incident in which he and a friend killed four schoolchildren in March 2010, four years in prison, and an ongoing rape trial.
Watch the trailer for the Jub Jub episode of Unfollowed
“Everything was taken away in the blink of an eye”
Jub Jub is tight lipped about the deadly 2010 accident, “out of respect for the families that lost their kids…What happens with myself and the families is not for anybody,” he insists.
“Everything was taken away in the blink of an eye from having the accident,” he admits.
Noting how his words distance Jub Jub from his actions, Thembekile asks, “Taken away by yourself?”
“Not really, I guess the choices,” says Jub Jub, who wishes he had “taken a stop in my life and actually figured out there’s no need to live a fast life.” The accident lingers as his “darkest day”. He explains, “A good part of me died as well … When you find yourself alone, you just remember … you try to sleep, you see visions. You try to move on with your life when you are reminded.”
“I regret all my actions – the accident – I don’t regret going to prison.”
Jub Jub claims that his time in prison made him a better person. “Prison is the only place that actually forced me to be alone, to reconnect with God, amadlozi (ancestors), no matter what. Because the life that I was living, man, I had no time for what my ancestors were wanting me to do; I had no time with God … I regret all my actions – the accident – I don’t regret going into prison … because there’s a life lesson that I learned.”
“If somebody had raped my family member, I’m telling you now, I would not wait for the justice system.”
Jub Jub is currently out on bail, facing three counts of rape, two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault, brought by four different accusers, after high profile women including actress Amanda du-Pont, Refilwe Khumalo, and Masechaba Khumalo (then Ndlovu), went public online with accusations of violent sexual misconduct.
“We live in a society where rape is a pandemic, and it is sad how now guys are not scared of guns, not scared of knives, but we’re scared of just waking up being accused, you know?,” Jub Jub says sincerely. “Right now we’re just shielding from every woman.”
Thembekile digs down into Jub Jub’s views on who, exactly, the justice system is failing, and why he’s choosing to focus on a minority of falsely accused men.
And when pressed, Jub Jub claims, “If you know that somebody was raped, if somebody has raped my family member, I’m telling you now, I would not wait for the justice system. I know what I would do.”
In Unfollowed, Jub Jub also talks about life in prison, why he considers his misogynistic banter on MacGyver “MacG” Mukwevho’s podcast in December 2021 “very pure, very light,” and he speculates about what drives people to participate in cancel culture. And media experts comment not only on how you re-brand celebrities who’ve done the unforgivable, but why the public seems so eager to forgive when they are entertained.
Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice’s general entertainment division, describes Unfollowed as an opportunity for us to reflect on cancel culture and its place in pop culture – a chance to interrogate whether it’s the best way to deal with people who have been deemed problematic. The show interviews public figures who were cancelled on social media and lets the viewer decide if the treatment in each case was deserved.
Binge Unfollowed S1 on Showmax now.
Unfollowed S1: Tol A$$ Mo's side of the story
Unfollowed: Impact of trauma on victims
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