Basetsana Kumalo

Marchelle Abrahams chats to 4 LUX ambassadors about their relationship with their own mothers.

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother” - unknown.

A mother is the one that moulded you, shaped you into the person you are today. She’s the only woman that gives you unsolicited advice, even when you didn’t ask for it, and says “you’ll be fine” when the truth hurts.

LUX recently launched the second phase of their  #WeAreMore campaign. With brand ambassadors like Nandi Madida, Sonia Mbele, Basetsana Kumalo and Jo-Ann Strauss, the campaign is a celebration of strong, phenomenal South African women.

In an effort to learn more about the initiative, I spoke to the three celebrity moms about their relationships with them own mothers and the worst Mother’s Day gifts they ever received.

Jo-Ann Strauss

Model, public speaker and former Miss South Africa, Jo-Ann Strauss is a modern mom that wears many entrepreneurial hats.

Jo-Ann Strauss with her mom, Ingrid. Picture: Kuier

What message would you like to get across with your involvement in the #WeAreMore campaign?

I think that as women we need to celebrate our femininity more, and acknowledge that our ability to show our softer side can often be part our inherent and competitive strength. Women shouldn’t try to beat men at being men - we should aspire to be the women we are destined to be.

Worst Mother’s Day present you ever received?

My kids are 4, 2 and 8 months in my belly still, so they haven’t had enough time to get a terrible gift… yet. But any cleaning appliances would be on the WTH list. Mother’s Day is a day to be spoilt with indulgent gifts for the mom, not necessarily practical ones, I think.

Growing up, did you have any Mother's Day traditions in your home that you've passed on?

We would have to earn our money to buy gifts for mom by doing chores in and around the house and I’d like to pass that on when the kids are older.


Nandi Madida

The new face of LUX, Nandi Madida is a singer, actress and TV presenter. But her biggest accomplishment yet is the birth of her son Shaka.

Nandi Madida often finds herself the subject of tabloid fodder because of her marriage to Zakes Bantwini.

What does #WeAreMore personally mean for you?

The phrase #WeAreMore resounds deeply with me because it reminds me of my mother. When I look at my mother, I see a mirror of myself - someone who is able to do so much more, be so much more and truly live a multi-faceted life.

What are the strengths that you hope to emulate from your mom?

I think for me authenticity is the most important attribute my mother taught us. Growing up, my mom never tried to score brownie points with us and she also never tried to “buy” our love. She was always just genuine. Whether she was disciplining us harshly or loving us fiercely - we loved her because we knew her.


Basetsana Kumalo

Much more than just a pretty face, ex-beauty queen Basetsana Kumalo is known for her philanthropy work.

Basetsana Kumalo and husband Romeo established the Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo Family Foundation for the purpose of supporting orphaned children.

What are the strengths that you hope to emulate from your mom?

My mother was a formidable force, she did not suffer fools, a disciplinarian of note. She was fiercely protective of us and didn’t even allow us to play in the streets. She was a serial entrepreneur from making bricks, to making curtains, making us sell sandwiches and ice cream at soccer stadiums. She instilled that entrepreneurial spirit in me. 

What inspires you?

I am inspired daily by South Africans using their voices, writing their own narratives and fulfilling their own destinies.


Sonia Mbele

Former Generations actress Sonia Mbele manages to raise three kids and build a business empire without breaking a sweat.

Because they couldn’t afford much, Sonia Mbele grew up with some sweet Mother’s Day gestures.

Your dream Mother’s Day?

My ideal Mother’s Day is literally just being in a space where I’m surrounded by like-minded people who share the same sentiments as I do when it comes to naturing my relationship with my own mother.

If you could, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?

I would cut myself some slack. At 16, I was recluse, and I didn’t have many friends - just shelves and shelves of books. I thought there was something wrong with me. But looking back, those were the very important years of my life, as they helped shape my self actualization.