Big Brother star sexy Lexi may look fun and fearless, but behind the flamboyance hides a tragic story.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Voice, Lexi revealed a traumatic childhood that saw her dad lose his job, her family left destitute, and she and her siblings orphaned.
The Cape bombshell posed exclusively for the Daily Voice in a turqoise bikini in the chilly surf of Camps Bay on Monday.
The 26-year-old shot to fame when she ran around the Big Brother house naked and had steamy sex with fellow contestant Mandla in front of the cameras.
Mandla went on to win the R1 million prize money while Lexi was evicted a week before the grand finale.
But Lexi, whose real name is Brumilda van Niekerk, says contrary to how she acted on the show, she’s not a “b*tchy b*tch”.
The reality star says she had a tough childhood, starting when her dad lost his job.
“We lived on the streets. We slept on the pavement, in a park in Bellville and on the steps of a shop,” Lexi says.
For four years Lexi and her family roamed the streets until she and her brothers were taken to a care home.
And then tragedy struck again when both her parents died.
Her mom was knocked over by a train and her father succumbed to third degree burns in a devastating fire.
Lexi says her foster parents raised her and eventually took her out of the children’s home when she was 17.
“Everything I own today, the shoes all these things, I didn’t have this when I was a little girl,” Lexi says.
Months before going into the Big Brother Mzansi house, Lexi quit her job at a Cape Town call centre.
She was ready to become Mzansi’s next big star, and with a background in dancing, she was hoping to begin a career in theatre or TV.
Lexi says when she stepped in front of the cameras, she decided to show her true self.
“Everything I said and did in the Big Brother house was me and nothing was a show or pretend.”
She admits having unprotected sex with Mandla was not a smart move, and has apologised for her thoughtless behaviour.
Lexi says even when she was openly pomping Mandla, she never obsessed about what fans or her family would think.
But she did warn him not to use her.
“There was a time when I thought, ‘oh, I’ve just given myself to this man and I said to him he must not play games with me and use me as part of his strategy to win the million,” she says.
Lexi will be moving to Johannesburg soon to pursue a career in television.
For now, there is no romance on the horizon.
Lexi says: “Right now I’m happy to be single. I’m focused on my career and making a success of it.” - Daily Voice