About four years ago, Bonang Matheba was nowhere near where she is today.

She is every girl’s dream, every celebrity’s envy and the media’s darling. Even when Nonhle Thema (Nonhle Goes To Hollywood) was larger than life, Matheba was still the It girl. So it came as a shock when word went out that the princess of TV was leaving the show that made her, SABC1’s Live.

SABC1’s publicity manager, Vukile Madlala, confirmed the development and rejected rumours that some sort of drama led to her departure.

“When we conceptualised Live four years ago, we had a plan to keep it running for four years only. Bonang came on board and we were in agreement that she would stay this long. So now we’re coming up with another show that will take over from Live, which will be called Live Amplified,” she said.

Madlala said that while Live Amplified will continue in the Live timeslot, Matheba would move on to other things within the SABC1 fold.

“We are refreshing all of our entertainment properties and have even bigger plans for Bonang, but I can’t talk about it now,” said Madlala.

Matheba reiterated Madlala’s statement, saying she will be off the small screen for only a short time.

“My fans should not despair. I’m going to be on their screens in a few weeks. This isn’t the end of a relationship, merely a wonderful transition,” said Matheba.

“We all need to grow and move out of our comfort zones. It’s never easy, but the change and shock doesn’t last for ever. Live made all my dreams come true, it’s time to grow my talent and show you what else I can offer. See you on SABC1 pretty soon,” she said.

When Live first aired it was presented by Matheba, Sizwe Dlomo and Phila Mazibuko. The guys left and Matheba flew solo. After a talent search, we were introduced to Luthando Shosha, who’s been presenting with Matheba.

“For now Luthando will present by herself as we look for a male presenter to join her,” said Madlala.

Live Amplified will have new elements. Madlala said the show was a platform for creating stars and SABC1 aimed to help them develop.

“We are in the business of creating stars. When you see Bonang, you know you saw her first at Live. We create opportunities for young people with dreams to dream big,” she said.