jamie bartlett

Award-winning actor Jamie Bartlett. Picture: Supplied

‘Rhythm City’: Curtain closes for David Genaro after 13 years

As he bids farewell to ‘Rhythm City’, actor Jamie Bartlett reflects on his greatest moments as the popular soapie’s David Genaro.

jamie bartlett

Award-winning actor Jamie Bartlett. Picture: Supplied

The 4.1 million viewers who have tuned into e.tv’s flagship soapie, Rhythm City, will have to contend with no longer getting an eyeful of villain David Genaro’s shenanigans. The popular show, which counts Microsoft founder and wealthy philanthropist Bill Gates as an avid viewer, last week aired an episode which was Bartlett’s final appearance. 

Jamie Bartlett: ‘I had to bellow oxygen into him’

The award-winning actor has hung up his gloves and says he is relieved to exit the acting ring. Speaking to current affairs TV channel Newzroom Afrika, the 53-year-old thespian spoke about his enjoyment in embodying the Genaro character. 

“I had to really drill him and bellow oxygen into him. It’s been undulating and meandering (playing him) the storyline has been engaging and it’s come to pass.” 

Master of improvisation

Bartlett is popular for his improvised dialogue which he sometimes preps before shooting or adds during a particular scene. The directors and writers of Rhythm City had given him carte blanche to make the role his own. He does caution that his knack for improvisation is skillfully done. 

“You can only break the rules when you know what the rules are.” 

On his favourite moments, Bartlett counts story arcs with Mduduzi Mabaso who played his arch-enemy, businessman Suffocate, scenes with Lerato played by Samkelo Ndlovu and his romantic dalliances with Lucilla (KB Motsilanyane) and Niki (Nolo Phiri). 

Awards and the road ahead

Bartlett’s acting talent has garnered him several accolades – including two South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) for best actor in a soapie in 2015 and 2019.

He explains that his work ethic of being the first at work while it is still dark and reading through his scripts, is what has earned him success. 

The next phase of his career will feature him embarking on corporate coaching through The Finishing College, spending time with his family and being picky about the next character he wants to play.

Fans can also look out for him at theatres as he hasn’t ruled out returning to the stage to ply his art.  

Social media reacts to Bartlett’s final moments as David Genaro on ‘Rhythm City’ 

Twitter reactions 


Watch Jamie Bartlett’s final moment as David Genaro below: