Magazine’s 2015 women of the year
Once again GLAMOUR honours eight exceptional women who have made a mark in their fields. Read their full stories in the magazine’s September issue
THE READERS’ CHOICE
Actress, model, memoir writer and TV and radio presenter Bonnie Mbuli has done a lot – and all from the age of 13. That’s when an agent approached her and suggested she go for a screen test.
That very year, Bonnie made her first TV appearance on the series Viva Families and, a year after that, was cast in the movie Born Free.
Since then, with only a three-year gap in which she studied public relations, Bonnie has been devoted to her vocation. Her notable performances have included the SA TV drama Traffic! and the powerful movie Catch a Fire starring Tim Robbins.
“In 2006 I decided to pursue opportunities in LA,” Bonnie says. “I learnt a lot about the industry and the kind of work ethic it takes to build a lasting career.”
Now back in South Africa, she has not only raised two sons and performed regularly, but also written Eyebags & Dimples (Jacana Media, R200), a memoir that deals with depression.
In the past year, Bonnie has joined Heart 104.9 FM and become one of three stellar presenters on SABC 3’s talk show Afternoon Express.
THE MEDIA PERSONALITY
A role on Muvhango, two TV talk shows and a gig on Metro FM: 2015 has meant a big year for this Soweto-born star.
Lerato was an air hostess for Qatar Airways when war broke out in the Middle East and she was forced to come back home. While studying public relations, she was crowned Miss Soweto in 2005.
Then, in 2008, a visit to the studio of Soweto TV set Lerato on the path to media success. “I was in the audience when a presenter went missing and they asked if I would like to fill in. I had never done TV before but, being an ambitious person, I agreed,” Lerato says.
Her work at Soweto TV led to the chance of producing and presenting her talk show The LKG Show, and that, in turn, resulted in other lucky breaks including hosting the entertainment lifestyle show The Link on SABC, and a cameo role on the popular SA soap opera Muvhango.
The cherry on top came this April. “After five years of sending demo mixes, e-mails and SMSes to station managers, I finally made it on to Metro FM as a presenter for The 5 Star Show,” she says.
THE BUSINESS CREATIVE
Hannerie Visser, who has been appointed artisanal food curator for the 2015 Design Indaba Expo, has always been involved with food and loved being in the kitchen.
“My mother and grandmother were home economics teachers, and I grew up on a table grapes farm in Paarl,” she explains.
Even so, it was a circuitous route between the farm kitchen and the recent creation of the Toffie Food, Street Food, Eat Out and Spier Secret festivals among other tasty ventures.
Hannerie began her career in the media, starting with three years at De Kat magazine.
She moved on to a 15-year stint as a group publisher for several titles, including VISI, Insig and Woolworths Taste, and then went on to establish a graphic design company, The President Design Studio.
Four years after that, her business partner relocated – and Hannerie was spurred on to truly express her long-time foodie passion.
“My company, Studio H, helps to develop corporate identities through brands, products and experiences,” she says.
THE RISING STAR
On the night before the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in China, athlete Gezelle Magerman, 18, prayed with all her might. Her family was back home in Vredenburg in the Western Cape, and her first trip out of SA was challenging. But it was also the opportunity she had dreamt of for years.
When the 400m hurdles rolled around, however, Gezelle found herself coming in last.
“I felt totally hopeless. Then, as I hit the bend, I heard my teammates calling my name and I remembered all of the gruelling training that had led up to this race. This was my last chance to make it, and I had to give it my all.”
And make it, Gezelle did, finishing first and even beating the record set by her idol, Heleen Swanepoel.
“I’ll never forget the feeling of walking around the track, carrying our flag, with the gold medal around my neck.”
Gezelle, who hopes to set a new SA women’s record for the 400m hurdles, plans to study – and run – for the University of Pretoria