Show business is full of stories of child stars. These very talented kids who could not handle fame, money, success. We don’t have many of them on the continent, actually we do but they did not follow that path of failure. Bonang is the best example, she started her career at a young age and expanded her business after all these years. In 2007, she dropped out school after she had successfully auditioned as the host on South Africa’s most watched music series, LIVE. A few months after, Bonang became an overnight sensation and the most sought after celebrity in South Africa. She was named as the first spokesperson outside of the USA for Revlon. Matheba reigns over the South African entertainment industry as one of the top media personalities. A radio host, TV presenter and owner of her own empire. Matheba stars on the mega-popular South African talk show, Afternoon Express, as well as the long-running lifestyle television show Top Billing. Not only she does a lot of different things but she succeeds in it, she’s since launched a lingerie line with Woolworths. Like King Midas, anything she touches turns to gold. After conquering Africa, she has set her mind on the United States of America. Beware America, as pretty as she is tough, the african Queen B is coming after you.
It took a long time to set this interview due to your busy schedule, for those who don’t know you yet, can you explain what one of your day looks like?
Yes, my schedule is quite tight especially at this time of the year. Usually on Mondays I catch a 6am flight to Cape Town, do my Metro FM shoot and head straight to Afternoon Express for the rest of my day. If I am in JHB, I do my Metro FM show, attend some meetings and later do a Topbilling links or MC an event.
You started working on TV at the age of 15, it has been a long ride, what drives you continuing?
The love and passion for TV are the big forces enabling me to push through and continue with TV. I dreamt and always loved presenting and through all the challenges I finally made to the scene and I have never been more in love. My craft is growing and evolving each day with each experience.
Are you familiar with the concept of human swiss army knife?
Hahaha, Yes I am. Quite a way to explain how I am able to adapt and win in every venture I go on, as I started off with a dream of being a presenter, and now looking back I have done so many things in the industry, not restricted to television which is how I began…
You are handling so many jobs, is it because you are super skilled, workaholic or super curious?
I really think it’s a mixture of the above mentioned. Passion alone cannot take you that far. It has to be followed by skill and hardwork. Also, you don’t want to live in your comfort zone for ever. I dream big and when I get to that dream, It is always a “pinch me“ moment that I was able to do it so what is next? What else can I achieve? Can I be the next female president of South Africa? You just never know, so you have to have that curiosity.
After conquering the SA market , it seems that you are on mission to gain U.S attention. What’s your plan?
Yes that has been my plan and dream, but it doesn’t only end with the US. I aim for global recognition and it will happen. Brand Bonang is loved in Nigeria and it doesn’t end there, it’s about getting the love and support from my very own continent. I forsee our continent being a key player in shaping global popular culture and future leaders.
So you are currently in the States, What for?
I was attending Fashion Week as a VIP guest of certain designers and I also attended an event hosted by Claire Sulmers and Ty Tyrone which was amazing, I enjoyed every minute of it. The Fashion, I died for which goes without say, hahahaha!
Where do you get your confidence from?
I think it’s something I was born with and it was instilled by my parents. As I grow older, it seems follow to. I remember my mother say “you are a queen and you inspire me” that coming from My Queen, was the inspiration, that fed the confidence and drive.
To come back on my previous question Swiss army life or midas touch?
Both! Definitely! Hahaha, I have this thing where if I am going to do something, it has to be perfection, to leave people wanting more, never let room for disappointment. From the garment I am dressed in, to the way I speak and acquaint myself with the brand I am representing is the winning recipe.
What do you do when you are not working? What are your hobbies?
I love champagning LOL. Just joking, I somehow find myself reading books nowadays and I am loving it. If I am not behind a book, I am just relaxing at home or checking new interesting spots in JHB. Also, is shopping considered a hobby? I don’t know, maybe that too. haha.
Talking about your style, I have read that you were always camera ready. How do you do that?
My life and career has put me in somewhat of a spotlight and I cannot afford to be caught in Camera looking a mess. Also, I just love looking decent when doing even the simplest things – shopping. Looking good is the best feeling ever and I am addicted to that feeling.
You are often referred to as the SA Queen B, which one lil’ kim or Beyonce?
I have always loved and admired Beyonce, so Beyonce it is! Her work ethic, the love and passion she has in whatever she does, it is quite admirable.