After almost being cancelled following a scandalous split from his baby mama, multi-award-winning TV personality Katlego Maboe has bounced back.
On the set of his latest gig, S1’s ‘Deal or No Deal, he served the tea on returning to the spotlight.
Launched in March, “Deal or No Deal” is a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime game of chance, where contestants select one of twenty sealed boxes; each box contains a cash amount ranging from R1 to R250 000.
As the game unfolds, the cash value of the boxes are revealed, and the contestant is offered an amount in exchange for their box by the show’s Banker.
With each round, the hosts asks the contestant to decide on a deal or no deal option.
We got to sit in on the filming of an episode, which will only air in August, but gosh, it was a nail-biting experience.
During the break on set, I managed to grab some one-on-one time with Maboe.
One thing was most unmistakable; he has an infectious personality, which explains why he is so loved on the small screen.
With only 11 minutes on the clock for the interview, the dad of one wasted little time unpacking his journey.
He said: “I’ve had 12 years of live TV experience, so I’ve taken that and compressed it into this show, where I try and save the crew and everyone as much time as possible in terms of executing on the minute on the job so we don’t have retakes.
”I try and make the experience spontaneous for the contestants and everyone else, so the transition has been pretty smooth for me, and I’ve really enjoyed it because I have the opportunity of connecting with people on a real one-on-one basis.“
Maboe admitted that he enjoys connecting with each contestant.
“We sit there, and it's me and this contestant in the hot seat and for that 30 minutes, there is a lot of eye contact and sharing, which I think for many of our people, they’ve never taken the chance to talk about what their dream is, nobody at home asks you ‘what's your dream for you, what do you want for yourself?’
“We always are focused on giving back to the family, helping grandma or aunty or mom back home, but when someone asks you ‘ what do you want for yourself’.
“I love that we give people the opportunity to tell the whole country what their dream is.”
The thrill of giving away cash on the show brings joy to Maboe.
“Being able to give a bit of money away through this show, its incredible. If only it was money from my pocket.
“There’s potential of a quarter of a million rand at stake, but most importantly for me, it's really about the people who get to talk about their stories and let it out.’’
As he sits and waits for his cue to hit the stage again, a chilled Maboe, looking dapper in his navy blue suit, shiny brown shoes and blue tie, explains his routine.
He shared: “I get up at 5.30am, shower at 6am, then set out clothes for my son to get ready for school, and hope he’s not in a grumpy mood, and then I drive him to school.”
He lights up with glee as he speaks of his only son.
“I always wanted to be a dad, and now that I am, I take the ups and downs with it. He’s four years old, and there has been this big jump in his growth, from a personality point of view, his emotions and relations to other people. I need to manage that as a new-age dad because we don’t parent the way our parents used to.
“I try and teach him about mindset as much as I can. I want to ready his mind for the day.
“I then drive to work and do my things at work and then drive back to fetch him and prepare supper, bath time and a little bit of play. 8pm is bed time, and then the next day, we do it all over again.”
Maboe reports for his call time on set at 9.30am until 4pm daily to shoot five episodes per day.
He added: “Every person in that hot seat deserves the best of me, and it doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life. They don’t need to know that. I need to give them the best opportunity at feeling like this moment is about them.
“I bring everything that I can to this table every day, and it's amazing to have a team that does the same thing. I’ve never seen anybody slacking in this team, and for me, it's exemplary of what we, as South Africans, are and can achieve.
“We are world-class. It's not just our TV shows, but our radio shows, the awards shows we put on.”
He added: “It’s a massive blessing having the influx of work coming in at the moment, and even before the dip I experienced, I never took any of it for granted.
“I know that, in this industry, you are only as good as your last gig. I could be fired from this job tomorrow. These things happen, so when a gig comes through, I’m so grateful for it.
“I hope to be able to do this for as long as God allows me to do this.”
“Deal or No Deal” airs weekdays at 7.30 pm on S1 and at 5.30pm S3.