DURBAN girl Ayanda Thabethe is the new “it girl” on TV and, on Thursday nights, she will be welcoming viewers inside the country’s most beautiful homes on SABC3’s lifestyle show, Top Billing.
The show is known for showcasing luxurious lifestyles and the life of the country’s super rich.
While Thabethe is not yet living a luxurious lifestyle, she’s not far off.
She told the Sunday Tribune she “is about sharing stories of success despite one’s background”, just like her own journey to stardom.
“I think I am right for the show’s target market. It represents my growth and ethical values. Top Billing used to be all about luxurious lifestyle and international travel, but we have grown as a country and the viewership has changed,” she said.
“Yes, the show still showcases luxurious lifestyles, but we also show stories of success, and tell our own stories. We appeal more to the black person who is 25 to 35. They might not be able to afford a R40 million house, but they have plans and dreams. We showcase a life and stories that motivate and inspire our audience,” said Thabethe.
She also hopes to buy her “ideal” home next year which would be designed to best represent her.
“I am praying that next year is the year that I buy my ideal house. It has to have easy access to the kitchen, my office and lounge. I want one that is very open and the rooms are not blocked out from each other.
“I would love a modern-looking house, with an indoor swimming pool. And I would have lots of dogs,” said Thabethe.
She recently returned from New York where she was shooting a campaign for a hair product for which she is to be announced as its global ambassador in July.
Although she would not divulge any details about it she was happy to reveal that her style team included celebrity make-up artist Yolanda Fredricks and hair stylist Cesar Ramirez, who both work with the likes of Ciara, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Hudson.
Thabethe has become a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry, but she has also begun making her mark as an entrepreneur.
She recently opened a hair salon, Liyanda Experience, in Johannesburg.
She knows a great deal about hair and beauty and before her television career worked as a brand manager for cosmetics brand L’Oreal.
“I am fortunate enough to have reached some of my personal goals in the first quarter of this year, I have always wanted to be a brand ambassador for brands I admire,” she said.“I have also opened my hair salon, which was a big milestone for me.
“I get the opportunity to incorporate all I’ve learnt in the corporate and entertainment space with a carefully selected team of hair experts into reality.
“It’s been a great opportunity to still be very much in touch with beauty trends and hair-care routines even outside the corporate space,” she said.
Thabethe’s plan is to remain in the industry for a very long time.