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All-access pass to life in the limelight

Published Mar 19, 2012

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It was a time before Nonhle Goes to Hollywood and Twitter mania. I remember, I was anxious to catch the Ivory Coast vs Brazil World Cup game at Soccer City. But I had to attend the O Access presenter search and pretend to be interested while I waited to go see Didier Drogba try to stay alive against Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, aka Kaka.

A beaming Nonhle Thema was running around making sure the contestants were ready for the auditions. Khanyi Mbau and a few other actors auditioned, too.

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Then, when they were announcing that the last two people were to audition, a pretty young woman in a short pink dress walked in. Perhaps it was that I was impatient, but Ms Pink didn’t do much for me. Granted, she was beautiful, but already I felt sorry for her as her dress code was frowned upon by the producers. US rappers, seemingly, do not like female presenters who over-emphasise their sex appeal.

But when Dineo Moeketsi started her audition, everyone listened. People could not decide if it was her infectious smile, or how she dodged the bullets from the impossible interviewer who was planted as part of the audition. Kudos to Channel O for picking her because she has done a great job on the show and other gigs, too.

Sadly, O Access is drawing to an end and, come the last episode of this season, it will be the final curtain call for Moeketsi.

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“I’m feeling a tad bittersweet because it will always stand as a great moment in my career. Coming into it when I did, I sort of knew it wasn’t forever, but having made my mark, it was worth it,” the presenter said.

Moeketsi has both good and bad memories of her job, which took her around the world to speak to the stars. Our so-called “A-list” celebrities are not always what they appear to be in the media. We asked her about the most memorable time she had on the job.

“Every interview is memorable in it’s own way. 50 Cent for the Chelsea Handler moment and walking around his house.

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“Then Nicki Minaj for taking time during her moment for life video shoot, or singing with Bruno Mars.

“I mean, no one can buy those kind of moments,” she said.

But not all was rosy.

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As Moeketsi’s predecessor, Thema, had warned her, there would be times when she would meet impossible people.

“There was never really a worst, but Busta Rhymes ‘the diva’ takes the cake for his antics. He made me wait five hours then had a bad attitude, until he realised it was an interview that made him think,” she recalled.

Though this door has closed for Moeketsi, it is not the end of the road for the TV host. During her time on the show she got the nod to do other prestigious jobs.

“The show opened my life up to great experiences such as co-hosting the Big Brother finale, hosting the Channel O Awards and also becoming part of an incredible team at V-Entertain-ment on Vuzu. The cherry on top was being on the Grammy red carpet this year,” she said.

Besides presenting, Moeketsi has done a bit of acting and also features on Kabomo Vilakazi’s album, All Things Grey.

“I’m still in the process of creating the music, but you can definitely expect an offering from me soon. I will also be pursuing a lot of acting. I was recently cast in a film, but I can’t say too much about that just yet,” she said.

• O-Access, Tuesdays at 9pm on Channel O (DStv’s channel 320).

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