One of South Africa’s most stylish personalities, Thando “Thabooty” Thabethe, lays bare her passion for people, especially in getting them to speak out about their daily frustrations in life.
She doesn’t just talk the talk on her TLC show, Thando Bares All, but she walks it, too. It wasn’t long ago that she hit back at men for “policing women on how they conduct themselves”. In giving these detractors a public dressing down on their unacceptable behaviour towards women, herself included, she provided a much-needed platform for the issue to be discussed.
On Thando Bares All, she lends a voice to pertinent issues. Everything discussed in studio is also taken to the streets, where Carissa Cupido engages with the people of Joburg to get their thoughts on the subject.
Shedding light on the genesis of the show, she says, “The idea came about during the filming of TLC’s Next Great Presenter. Lee Hobbs, from discovery Inc, thought it was a great idea and approached the guys at Oxygen to produce it.”
By the way, Cupido was last year’s winner - and Thabethe can’t stop singing her praises: “She’s a superstar. Extremely talented, gorgeous and has a great energy about her. The fact that we were together for Next Great Presenter also allows for a natural chemistry.”
As for her involvement in the show, since it bears her name, Thabethe reveals, “Each episode is carefully selected and was run past me to see if I felt comfortable about the topic or to see if it was indeed topical. We also have a performance element in the show, which features some of my favourite musicians.”
The show is resonating with South Africans, who have taken to social media to share their sentiments.
“The feedback has been amazing. People are excited about the fresh approach and to be able to watch a South African show on TLC,” she adds.
Thabethe, who is also known for her acting credits on TV (Single Guys, Intersexions, Kowethu, Mzansi Love and Generations) and the big screen (Mrs Right Guy), says there is more in the kitty.
She confirms, “I shot a beautiful romantic comedy, Love Lives Here, which is due for release in September.”
This big-budget movie was shot in Durban and she stars alongside Lungile Radu. The premise revolves around a young novelist looking for love. What she finds is herself trapped between two approaches to romance: one modern and the other traditional.
The other cast members include Motlatsi Mafatshe Zola Nombona Nomalanga Shozi and Kenyan actress Nyokabi Gethaiga.
When it comes to giving the nod to projects, Thabethe admits, “I have become very selective about the projects I get involved with. I need to resonate with the work.”
In the next episode of Thando Bares All, she candidly tackles the subject of being naked in public à la Madonna. Some ladies don’t mind being naked in public, as a matter of fact, they embrace it. Of course, opinions differ, but she tries to get a well-rounded perspective nonetheless.
Of course, Thabethe isn’t all about work. Recently engaged, she also loves to travel as much as she possibly can. Sundays are precious to her as well.
She shares, “It’s my favourite day of the week. I love to visit my mom or spend time with my dogs, Dolce and Gabbana, or simply unwind with friends.”
Thando Bares All airs on TLC (DStv channel 135), on Saturdays at 9pm.