Bonang Matheba shares her life story


Windhoek- Popular South African TV host Bonang Matheba, also known as ‘Queen B’ in the entertainment circles on February 13 became the first personality to feature at MTC’s first inspiration talk show, the Masters of Success held at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) in the capital.

The Masters of Success project is an inspirational talk show that the mobile operator believes will inspire Namibians from all walks of life by bringing in different inspiring personalities from across the African continent enabling Namibians to connect with them.

The talk shows will attract a different audience every month depending on the personality. “This month we will attract those who have an interest in TV, Radio, Fashion and Beauty because that is exactly what our first personality, Bonang Matheba, represents,” MTC said.

The monthly show will run until November this year. In the first instalment of the Masters of Success, Matheba shared her life story during a live interview with radio host Josy Nghipandua.

She related to the audience how tough it was when she was growing up in Mahikeng in North-West Province. Matheba attributed her success to her mother, who divorced her father when she was five years old. She grew up watching her mother toil her way to the top, which gave her courage to excel in life.

She said that growing up with a single mom was not easy as she sometimes could not put food on the table but such difficulties vanished when she was showered with love from her friends and family.

She said it was at the age of nine that she decided what she wanted to become in life and being a fabulous presenter did not even cross her mind. She initially wanted to become a pre-primary school teacher, claiming that she would be a fabulous teacher just as she is a fabulous presenter.

Matheba said when she wanted to study at a tertiary institution in South Africa, she was unlucky as she could not be accommodated and that is when she landed in the entertainment industry while on a presenting course.

“To be honest, you don’t need to be educated in order to be in the entertainment industry, but you need to be born to do it, but I won’t encourage children to drop out of school to pursue their dreams,” she said.

Matheba is of the opinion that one cannot be taught to be a celebrity at university. It is a gift one is born with, she believes. For instance, some people can be taught on how to be a presenter but if they are not born to be presenters they will not be as good as a person born to be a presenter, she said.

“In the entertainment industry, you have to be born with a gift to succeed. Someone can go to school, but yet cannot succeed in the industry, unlike those born with the talent, but nonetheless education is very important,” she said.

By looking at her resume, one can safely conclude that Bonang Matheba is the jack of all trades in the South African entertainment sector from being a radio host, television presenter and style icon. In fact, her unique sense of style had earned her a South African Style award and an AG Sport style award.

She considers joining SABC’s radio station Metro FM as presenter for The Front Row show and being the Global Brand Ambassador for Revlon Cosmetics: South and Sub-Saharan Africa as her biggest achievements. “It was God’s doing. It came from nowhere,’’ she declared.

Amongst others accolades, Matheba is the first black celebrity to grace the cover of Glamour SA for its December 2014 edition; first black celebrity to grace the cover of Maxim SA for its April 2014 edition; Queen of South African Media by People Magazine 2014; Africa’s Favorite Media Personality by Zen Magazine in Nigeria 2014 and was among the Forbes list of 13 African Celebrities To Watch in 2013.

“Being a celebrity is a 24 hour job. It is about living a responsible life every day. It comes from the foundation of love, because when you do something you love doing, people will see that you love your job and you are a role model,” she said.

When asked about the key figures in her life that helped her become successful, Matheba responded that she owes her whole body, mind and soul to God the Almighty as he is the Alpha and Omega, adding that even for her family to be there, they are there because of him.

She said that secondly, her parents are the key figures in her life even though they could not give her a decent upbringing they showered her with love. She says love is the most important aspect in anything.

Talking about challenges as a TV presenter, Queen B said the ultimate challenge she faces as a celebrity are the pressures from people on social media, people in the entertainment industry itself and the people she associates with. She said she regularly questions loyalty because people always want to drag her down but that is all just a distraction from the blessings God has poured upon her following her success.

She said to determine if a person really loves what they do, they should ask themselves if they would still be doing it without the money and aspects like fame, glitz and glamour. The reaction from the audience, close to 500 people who attended the event, was that Matheba had left a lasting effect with her life story especially with her parting shot, what appears to be her personal motto that: “Rise above, replace hate with love and pray, work hard, dress up and kill it.”

“It was interesting to have the opportunity to listen to a fellow African woman who has become successful in what she is doing because she loves it. 

I was very curious to know what she had to say and I am not disappointed, I hope her message reaches a bigger audience,” said Emma Theofelus

Richolere Ouses proclaimed that “listening to Bonang was so magical. 

It’s a shame that she is a behind the scene person because she would have taken up a career in television and radio presenting because everyone has that little light in them”.

The two ladies thanked MTC for making it possible for people from other countries to come and inspire Namibian youths. – Additional Reporting by Nampa

February 2015
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