Zane Meas a father, Christian above all


“My work as an actor is my profession. The work I do with fatherhood is my calling.”

So says Zane Meas, who is best known for his roles in, among other things 7th Avenue, Isidingo, Ludik, Reyka and Domestics. He is an actor, writer and director, but describes himself first and foremost as a family man and a devoted Christian.

He also heads the Fatherhood Foundation of South Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering men to be faithful family men and good fathers to their children.

“The Lord called me to work with fathers. It’s not something I decided on my own. I have three sisters who are single mothers, and I can see how it affects them.

“I see how fatherlessness affects the community. You see it in things like gang violence and teenage suicide, it’s all because of the absence of God-fearing fathers in the household.”

This is precisely why Zane already published a book years ago, Daddy, come homewrote, and traveled the country to share the word of the Lord with people, and especially men.

“At home is where children are most influenced, and many men do not understand this. They think that showing up at church and work is more important, but your home and your family are more important than anything else.”

A godly man

Zane cannot imagine his life without a relationship with the Lord. He holds communion weekly with his wife and five children, something he considers essential for their happiness and spiritual health.

“Everything I do is determined by my faith. Where my children go to school, the work I do, the ways I raise my children – everything is based on faith and that is the foundation.

“For me it is very important to have a steadfastness and an anchor, and that is what my faith and Christ are. We believe in a strong prayer life, which is why my wife and I also pray together. Being in church on Sunday is non-negotiable.”

Zane and his wife, Megan, have been married for 30 years this year and their children are between 10 and 30 years old.

“In a society where people divorce for the smallest thing these days, it is important that our children see what commitment looks like. They say getting married is not buying horses, for me it is important to show my children that faith and a marriage are important.”

Neville still close to his heart

This 58-year-old actor has been working in the entertainment industry since the eighties, and has learned a string of lessons in his long career.

One of those lessons is not to sit on hot coals and wait for opportunities to roll your way. He has helmed several movies including Father and Klip Anchor Baystood, movies he wrote precisely to broaden his horizons.

“People so often put you in a box, and then you never get to the characters you want to play, that’s why I write it myself.”

Zane is best known for his performance as Neville Meintjies in the then soap opera, 7th Avenue. This character, which he played for 12 years, he considers today as a highlight that will always remain close to his heart.

“You can’t work at a place for 12 years and not become like family with the people. We visited again and again and every phase of life was properly celebrated.”

He also considers his “firsts” as unforgettable experiences that will remain close to him forever: his first play, Sophiatownat the Market Theater in the late 80s, and his first television role in the series, The Game.

It was shortly after his studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) ended, and he looks back on it with fond nostalgia. Zane was the first in his family to go to college, and he still remembers how shocked his family were when he told them he wanted to study drama. In those years, he jokes, that was nowhere near the norm.

“They thought that I would study something like LLB, they didn’t understand the drama thing at all, but today they are proud.”

Frankie & Felipe

Zane is soon to appear in Solomon Cupido and the late Bradley Olivier’s comedy, Frankie & Felipeto see.

“I had known Bradley and Solomon for years before they offered me the role,” he says. “They wrote the role specifically for me.”

He remembers how they called him one day and asked to be part of the project.

Uncle Zane,” he recalls, “we wrote this role for you and we want you so badly to be in the movie.”

He didn’t hesitate to say yes, and considers everyone who worked on the movie family today. Frankie & Felipe will visit the silver screen from 23 February, and boasts the likes of Bianca Flanders, Ilse Klink, Kim Syster, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Terence Bridgett, Bouwer Bosch and Brendan Daniels.

“Everyone was amazing and playing with people like Ilse Klink and Kim Syster is great.

“We really became a close family.”