Pearl Thusi and Denerele Edun are the hosts of the second season of Lip Synch Battle. Picture: Babalwa Dhlamini

We caught up with Pearl Thusi fresh off the plane from the US as she came back to prepare for the second season of Lip Sync Battle. 

By her side was the energetic Nigerian entertainer Denerele Edun, who will be taking over from fellow Nigerian celebrity D’Banj.

“I was called into the MTV offices in Lagos and they made me audition for Lip Sync Battle without telling me what was really going on," said Edun.

"They asked me to do a series of things, asking me who I would like to work with, and no one from Nigeria came to mind. 

They threw around other names like Nomzamo and Bonang, but all I could think about was Pearl."

For Thusi, nothing was certain about joining the sophomore season, as she had a crazy schedule thanks to her role in the American show Quantico.

“I had to beg to come back from that side (the US). But for me, where you come from is very important, and so you always have to take care of home,” she said.

“A case in point is Pri-yanka (Chopra). She is still doing stuff in India. She flies every now and again when she has a few days off. Either to shoot something like a commercial or a show. She makes time for home. You always have to make time for home.”

The role itself was open to a lot of other contenders who were considered in the event that Thusi couldn't make it back home.

“I think that when they were about to confirm someone else, I phoned to say I was going to be able to be on the show.

"They told me that they were about to send a contract to someone. I felt bad because I didn't want to take bread away from someone, but they said they would find a way to fix it. I still wasn’t sure of the co-host and I am happy to know,” she said.

D’Banj was a really animated character, but if you know Edun, you know he will be 10 times more, and he agreed.

“I can’t promise that I will stay in that booth. I am just too excited to be on the show to remain in one place, but I will leave more details to the viewer,” he hinted.

For Thusi, being on this show is beyond being just another gig – it's a fight to unite Africans at a time when xenophobia is on the rise.

“I think a show like this is important in showing just how far Africa can go if we join forces. I think especially now, with everything going on in South Africa, it's important to show there's no such thing as a person from one place being restricted to that place.

"I am South African and I work in the US. He (Denerele) is Nigerian and works in South Africa, so why is there xenophobia against other nationals? It’s just wrong and it keeps Africa as a continent behind,” she said.

Lip Sync Battle Africa (series 2) premieres on MTV Base (SA) on Thursday, April 6 at 9.30pm.