Our Perfect Wedding’s new host, Vele Manenje, is holding her head high in the face of hate mail from some viewers.
The trend of trolling presenters saw a number of her predecessors ditching the Mzansi Magic show, such as singer Aya Mpama, who bowed out after hosting only 13 episodes. But Manenje says she is here to do her job the best way she knows how and is not interested in impressing anyone.
“I am off social media because I do not want to be thrown off by the comments that are bound to come. For now, I don’t want to involve myself in those types of talks but just do my best.
“Having worked in a couple of places where people put you on social media and push their own agendas regarding you, those experiences have helped me develop a crocodile skin.
“I know that this is a big show, but having seen what the OPW fans can do to all the show’s presenters, I know what I have got myself into.
“Everybody went through it, I just have to soldier on and do my best,” says the 30-year-old actress.
Manenje’s desire to host the show goes back a long way and finally being on the show is a dream come true.
“I was part of the presenter search and unfortunately I had to bow out of the show due to my commitment with my other passion, acting. I had to go back to the Ring Of Lies set, but by the grace of God, the opportunity presented itself again.”
The National School of the Arts graduate has worked in the industry for many years, and has featured on shows such as SABC1’s Thandeka’s Diary, A Place Called Home and SABC2’s Mamello, and is currently on the popular SABC2 series Muvhango.
Her favourite part about OPW is seeing couples finally getting married after the turmoil and stresses that come with planning such big days.
“Love always wins and it is so exciting to get to be part of so many love stories,” she says.
Manenje adds that her mission is one that seeks to break all stereotypes of what beauty is.
“Number one, it is not easy to be plus sized and get on TV. You always have people who are poking at you and therefore don’t get equal chances most of the time. So with my entire journey, I want to look back and celebrate my God-given talent while also celebrating being one of those people who broke the boundaries.
“Be the girl who actually does make it and become that example that anything is possible. Forget your weight, skin tone or whatever. You can do it.”