TV host, model and entrepreneur Ayanda Thabethe exudes a special and beautiful aura that simply radiates star quality.
I warm to her as our skin comes into contact, shaking hands “hello” on a perfect sunny summer Friday morning. Wearing a flattering dress that hugs her petite frame and sporting long and playful braids - she is as gorgeous and warm in person as she appears on her Instagram feed.
“Don’t be fooled by what you see on social media. I am actually very conservative. I get it that people think I’m always so poised and well-dressed. But I am really more comfortable wearing a T-shirt and jeans it takes a lot of effort for me to carry off the sexiness you see on my page,” she explains.
I meet her at the recently revamped The Ritz hotel in Sea Point, where she and her musician and TV personality boyfriend Mthoko “Dash” Mkhathini are guests.
The two are are undoubtedly one of the sexiest couples in the entertainment industry at the moment. During a photoshoot around The Ritz Casa restaurant pool deck area, I get to observe the TV personality in action. Thabethe is a natural in front of the camera, flashing her dazzling smile, her body flowing from one sultry pose to the next.
“I have always been interested in media since I was a young girl. I was particularly drawn into TV for some reason. I never understood it at the time but, now that I am older, I get it. It has always been my destiny,” she says.
“Also, I was never shy, but have always been outspoken. My parents struggled with me as the middle child of five siblings, there was something different about me for sure,” she explains.
Born and raised in Durban, Thabethe moved to the City of Gold, Johannesburg, at the age of 18 to study BCom Communication Management followed by an Honour’s degree in marketing.
“Growing up, I had this feeling that there was something bigger waiting for me outside Durban. I spent a lot of time dreaming about it, I am still very much of a dreamer. I love art and writing poetry In fact, the last poem I wrote was for my boyfriend for our anniversary,” she says.
The move to Joburg has been fruitful for Thabethe. Since launching her career as a model, she has become a household name as a Top Billing presenter and entrepreneur, and continues to collaborate with several successful brands, the latest one as one of the ambassadors for international hair care range Mizani, which is part of the L’Oréal Professional Products Division. She has also graced the covers of several glossy magazines.
“It wasn’t an easy move, from corporate into the entertainment industry. I believed in myself and I told myself that if I failed I would have my degree to fall back on and would be able to start again,” she explains.
Her advice for budding entrepreneurs and aspiring TV hosts? “There is no clear path or formula to success. Don’t be too hard on yourself,” she advises.
“Spend time with yourself and get to know your strengths and weaknesses, that way you will be able to make decisions that will work for you,” she adds.
* Connect with Ayanda on Instagram @ayandathabethe_
* For more information about The Ritz visit: www.theritz.co.za