One of women leading the fitness-mom movement, and adored by many South Africans on social media, is fitness instructor Nkateko Maswanganye, known as “Takkies”.
The fitness junkie, who gave birth to a daughter, Sana (now 3 months old), made sure to keep her followers updated about her workout routines during pregnancy and now postpartum.
She started her dancing career at nine, doing modern dance and hip-hop.
Later, she started entering dance competitions such as So You Think You Can Dance - where she made a name for herself .
Her work speaks for itself and she’s worked with big names in the music industry, featuring in music videos of artists like Mi Casa, Nandi Madida and Zakes Bantwini.
She has also started dance classes, “Rocking In Heels” to teach women to dance with heels while keeping fit.
Three months after giving birth to her first child, she has now returned to the gym with the hope of getting her body back again.
We spoke to her to find out what she is doing currently.
Tell us about motherhood?
I’m enjoying it so much, it’s such a blessing and it’s beautiful. I’ve always wanted to be a mother. To finally have that is amazing and it’s almost indescribable. However, it can be really demanding and tiring due to sleep deprivation. Everything is about the baby and you are trying to do everything right. It can be easy to forget about yourself. So it’s important to give yourself a few minutes of doing what you love I dance for a few minutes.
What exercise routine did you maintain during your pregnancy?
I continued with my normal exercise routine, which included dancing, squats, boxing and I jogged a little. As the baby became heavier, I changed my routine to suit my baby bump and I stopped burpees and lifting weights. But I still could exercise throughout my pregnancy and vorsho (dance move) till I gave birth.
When did you start exercising post pregnancy?
I didn’t want to push myself, I got clearance from my doctor after three weeks. But I wanted to take my time and allow my body to go back to normal naturally.
After eight weeks, I started working on my core with planking, which refers to mimicking a wooden plank and a few stomach exercises. For the legs, I did minor dance moves.
That helped because most of the moves were squat-based moves.
What’s your current eating plan?
I don’t have one, I really don’t believe in strict diets. I think we all should strive to eat clean, drink water and fuel our bodies with essentials that it needs.
Because I breast-feed, I’m giving my body what it wants. However, I keep everything in moderation so I don’t end up eating a big packet of crisps.
When did you start dancing?
I have always danced, I don’t remember a time when I was not dancing. But my mom tells me she saw it in me while I was learning how to walk. I started properly training at a studio at the age of nine.
Why encourage women to dance in heels?
As women, we always feel extra good when we wear heels, so I decided to help women work out while feeling good at the same time. My class is more of a dance workout for women with a short routine right at the end. The class is open to all women who want to get fit, feel good and have fun.
Any advice to new moms?
Take time to listen to your body and try not imitate or copy other moms.
We are all different, our babies are different and we should never compare ourselves to anyone’s lifestyle.
We can be inspired but not put ourselves under pressure because of what we see others doing.
The most important thing, make time for yourself to do what you love doing - its also good for your mental state.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Partnering up with brands, touring with Rocking In Heels with our new clothing line. Depending on when Sana starts walking, we are planning on starting a mommy-and-me dance class.
That will be a great platform for mommies to bond with the little ones.