Anele Mdoda has one of the most infectious personalities in the media industry. It’s this warm and charming personality that’s garnered her breakfast show on 947 and her SABC 3 show Real Talk with Anele the fiercely loyal fan base they now enjoy.
Last weekend I got to experience her charm first-hand when I spent some time with Mdoda and other media personalities, including DJ Fresh, comedian Nina Hastie and actor Motlatsi Mafatshe on "The Journey Cruise Experience with SABC 3" from Durban to the Portuguese Islands.
It was a platform through which we got to hear influential people across various fields open up about about their unique experiences and the lessons they’ve learned in life.
It was also a platform where Mdoda shot a few inserts for her show.
“These things should happen four times a year and I’m so glad that SABC 3 did it," she says.
"The highlight was the audience, because you want to go towards a place where you are doing talk shows. It doesn’t really happen in many spaces that you can watch people getting interviewed in front of an audience that is that big and that honest.”
She particularly enjoyed her interview with DJ Fresh – “It was fresh”, she quips.
Mdoda made the trip with her two-and-a-half-year-old son Alakhe and his nanny. She’s been "absolutely loving the experience and dynamic of being a mother".
“Alakhe is very independent,” she says. “He likes his space so I just have to be careful to not crowd him, because I love him so much that I always want to be around him. He wants to do his own thing so I must allow him.
"What I’m learning from spending a bit of time with my boyfriend’s girls – he’s got two – is that girls require patience.
"And when you get into that role where you just love them, it comes so quickly. I never thought I could be as patient as I am, but this is where I am. And funnily enough, this is helping me with Alakhe.”
In her spare time, Mdoda loves a good film. She’s seen Black Panther four times, and says it just keeps getting better with each viewing.
“I’m going to see it again next week at Montecasino because I’ve organised through my radio show that we send 8 000 kids who can’t afford to go. At Montecasino the cinema takes 300 people, so they’re going to give us three cinemas, that’s 900 kids. And every time I want to be there, so I’m still going to see it about eight more times.
"We’re taking kids from Diepsloot, kids from Alex, kids from Soweto, because I want everyone to see it.”
Her list of favourite films includes Troy, It’s Complicated, Pretty Woman, Love and Basketball and, “anything with Javier Bardem or Denzel Washington”.
On a typical Saturday, aside from watching movies, Mdoda cooks and reads. Most of this reading involves researching people she is about to interview.
“I don’t want to read about them on the day of the interview, I like it to be a continuous process so that by the time they get there it’s a natural conversation because I know about them, so I can call on things they said.”
That’s how Mdoda generally spends her mornings and afternoons on Saturdays, then she’ll do some cooking for family and friends.
I ask her to name her favourite dish to cook: “It varies, hey. Because, I’m not bragging, but I cook quite well. I make a sherry chicken – a chicken with sherry and cream – and I also make some mean oxtail.”
* Fans got to see talk show host Anele Mdoda in action live on "The Journey Cruise Experience with SABC 3".