Christmas 2022: Mzansi A-listers share their holiday traditions

Zakes Bantwini and his wife Nandi Madida. Picture: Instagram

Zakes Bantwini and his wife Nandi Madida. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 24, 2022


Christmas is finally here! Christmas trees are up, decorations are sparkling everywhere and last-minute shopping trips for presents and treats are under way.

The Christmas period is also about spending quality time with family and friends.

It is also time to reflect on lessons learnt in the previous year, the joys, the highs and lows but most importantly, it’s time for thanksgiving and sharing.

With just a few hours to go until Christmas 2022, IOL Entertainment caught up with some of Mzansi celebrities to share their plans and some of their special holiday traditions.

Zakes Bantwini - Grammy-nominated musician and record producer

Zakes Bantwini. Picture: Supplied

For “Osama” hitmaker Zakhele “Zakes Bantwini” Madida, the festive season is his busiest of the year.

Although the star does make sure to spend time with his family on Christmas, he often spends this time of year travelling the country and connecting with his fans at shows.

“My team and I will be on the road for most of this season at various shows including Ballito Big Week where I will be performing my homecoming show on January 1.

“Those who would like to know where to find me can have a look on my Instagram for a gig guide.

“When it comes to Christmas, however, I like to spend it with my family, my wife Nandi and my kids, either just at home or while getting up to a fun holiday activity.”

The year 2022 saw the muso win his first South African Music Award (SAMA) in 16 years.

The KwaMashu-born star scooped two SAMAs, including Highest Radio Airplay Composers Award and Best Collaboration for the hit single“Osama” featuring Kasango.

Madida also got his first Grammy nod for his hit song “Bayethe” featuring Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode.

He was crowned Musician of the Year at GQ’s Men of the Year.

“Thank you to GQ for recognising me as musician of the year. It feels so special to have been able to achieve such a feat twenty years into my career.

“I’m filled with so much gratitude and joy at what my team and I have been able to achieve this year. Now we’re looking forward to the All Africa Music Awards and the Grammys next year. We aren’t done yet!”

Siv Ngesi - Actor and TV host

Siv Ngesi. Picture: Instagram

Actor and TV host Siv Ngesi told IOL Entertainment he will be celebrating Christmas with his family in Cape Town.

“This is my first Christmas without my mother, so that is going to be weird but I’m not a big fan of Christmas, I’m a fan of the family…for me, it’s all about celebrating family, so I’ll be spending the day with my nieces, nephews and god daughters.”

Ngesi broke the news of his 67-year-old mother's untimely death on social media on August 12.

“There are no words in the world to describe how lost and dead I feel inside,” he said at the time.

Some of the highlights of Ngesi’s career include starring in the blockbuster “The Woman King,” alongside Viola Davis, Thusi Mbedu and John Boyega.

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp - radio host and TV personality

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp. Picture: Phando jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp’s travelling family spend their time between Johannesburg and Cape Town so the festive season is a time when everyone comes together and takes a much-needed breather.

“For us, any reason to jump on an aeroplane or to see our parents or see our family is a very festive occasion and usually one with a lot of gratitude, charity and giving gifts. We don’t leave festive and gratitude to the festive season and it’s something we do throughout the year.”

The Jacaranda FM personality adds that the festive season comes with a whole bunch of traditions. “

“On the 23rd we have a picnic for the kids, on the 24th we visit a farm we love and on Christmas morning, we exchange gifts with our ouma and oupas (gradmas and grandpas). My parents go to church in the morning, we make music around the piano after that and we always have a festive tea at our house every Christmas afternoon.”

In a recent interview, Afrika-Bredenkamp told IOL Entertainment she was honoured to have been recognised as one of the leading women in radio broadcasting.

She was awarded the Radio Presenter of the Year prize at the PRISM Awards 2022, taking home the bronze trophy in the Presidential Awards group.

Afrika-Bredenkamp has launched a new podcast titled ''Boardroom Besties” to inspire and empower women.

Carol Ofori - radio personality

Carol Ofori. Picture: Instagram

For Carol Ofori, Christmas is a time to enjoy with family – and she plans on doing just that this year.

“This is the first Christmas in years we are celebrating without lockdown so I am super excited! My family is coming to visit and it’s going to be a beautiful one,” Carol shares. “I am cooking Christmas lunch and I am going to make a whole array of delicious meals from scratch! If this was ‘Come Dine With Me’, I would be winning because everything will be made from scratch.

“I am praying for good weather in Durban because it hasn’t been great for the past couple of years and we love to spend the day outside by the pool with good people and good food, opening up presents. I love spending time with my kids and extended family and enjoying the love and remembering that Christ was born on this day.”

The award-winning radio personality ventured into the world of literature. She published a series of six children’s books titled “The African Adventures of Sena and Katlego”, to celebrate the beauty of Africa.

“I was inspired to write the book because there just isn’t anything like this out there. It was a need. The truth is, there are still not many books on the shelf which tell the stories of little black children,” she told IOL Entertainment.

Salome Damon Johansen - singer

Salome Damon Johansen. Picture: Supplied

For singer and entertainer Salome Damon Johansen, Christmas is all about family in Cape Town. And it’s an all-white theme this Christmas, this year.

“This year…we are all having lunch at my niece's house. She just bought a house a couple of months ago and the entire family will all be there. Every year, traditionally, I'm the one who makes triple I'm very good at it.

“I'm always happy to see the young ones, how happy they are when the Christmas tree is up, especially when the gifts are being exchanged, that's what makes me happy and excited about Christmas.”

Jarrad Ricketts - singer

Jarrad Ricketts and his wife Kim-Lee Wentzel. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Jarred Ricketts told IOL Entertainment due to work commitments, he will be working during this, nonetheless, he shared some of his family traditions.

“Christmas has been family-focused every year, we generally end up having lunch on both sides of the family, starting off at Jarrad’s family where we end up playing games with the family.

“Kim is usually given the job of preparing seafood dishes and desserts which she is very good at. Of course, the day isn’t complete without my dad taking out his guitar and creating our sing-along moment.

“Then at Kim’s family’s place, we usually finish off with dessert, which is a trifle or peppermint tart, while opening up gifts.

“However, this year is very different as I am performing straight through the year, on Christmas Day as well. So Kim and I have decided to do things a little differently and booked ourselves into a resort.”