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She is smart, beautiful and talented, but one thing few people acknowledge is just how fit Khabonina Qubeka really is.
Yes, she has the body for the next Marie Claire issue, but we are not talking about that. Anyone can have curves if they eat correcty and excercise often Qubeka is about really intense fitness, which includes serious work-outs, a carefully planned diet – all calculated into her otherwise busy schedule.
Qubeka admits her secret is that she avoids assigning specific time to working out, instead fusing it into her daily routine. This is what she talks about in her new show, Gym eKasi, on e.tv’s Open View HD.
“The show was an idea of mine for the longest time and thanks to e.tv and Open View HD, they believed in what I had in mind,” said an ecstatic Qubeka.
She described the show as an educational offering on healthy lifestyles to people living in the townships. For her, the show is not an attempt to reinvent the wheel, just an addition to what already exists.
“We are trying to give useful information to people who live in the townships on how to live healthy lifestyles. The thing is, there are so many habits we have that affect us in time, and if we don’t control them now, sometimes they even kill us,” she said.
Given the current situation where there are fewer and fewer gyms in residential areas, Qubeka picked up that a huge segment of the population was left to their own devices when it comes to taking care of their health.
“Let’s face it, there are no gyms in townships and when there are one or two, they are so expensive the people can’t afford them,” she said.
So in comes Gym eKasi, an innovative way to get the gym to the man on the street. With no conventional weights or a building like Virgin Active, Qubeka believes you can still be fit by following a few steps.
“The first thing I know many people don’t know is their blood type. It is very important to get that checked so that you know what works for your diet, or otherwise. Without that knowledge you can’t have a proper diet and in turn you take things that harm your body instantly,” she said.
Admitting that part of South Africans’ biggest problem is obesity, Qubeka said there are ways in which people can still enjoy their lives, only responsibly.
“We are not saying people should stop having the khota (bunny chow) or magwinya (fatcakes), but they should know how to counter the side-effects that come with those habits. As a country we rank first in Africa in obesity numbers and second in the world and that has to change,” she said.
The other thing the show explores are the dangerously misleading perceptions of what being healthy is in Africa.
“Most of us are stuck in our ways of thinking where we believe that when you have that potbelly, you are eating well and are very successful. I find it challenging to try and change people’s perceptions on that, but I am willing to try,” she said.
Dismissing the fact that people always claim not to have time for exercise, Qubeka says it is sad that it takes extreme situations for people to find time.
“When your doctor bluntly tells you that you are going to die in a few weeks unless you change your ways, suddenly you will have time,” she said.
So on Gym eKasi you will learn how to exercise in the most unusual places, in the most unusual ways. Qubeka works walking, perhaps gardening, into your schedule.
“We take people with health problems and show them simple routines on how to work their bodies while they are at home.”
They do it, she says, you can too.
• Gym eKasi airs every Tuesday at 7pm on etv’s Open View HD.