So how was your childhood? Lwazi asks
Oh wow! You go straight for it! Straight to the deepest stuff! (Both Pabi and Lwazi Laughs)
Yes, I’m taking you way back! (Laughs)
I had a magical childhood. I remember very early on hanging out with my granddad who was an actor and a theatre man. He would teach us songs from 1950s, 30s and 20s; and he was so charismatic and because of him I would say I had a magical childhood – everything that happened was like a stage show!
Very entertaining! Life was this theatrical entertaining thing. And then of course I read a lot and I would always escape into these other worlds because I was the only child until I was 17. For the bulk of my childhood I was the youngest person around and so everyone tried to create magic for me.
So going back to you reading books, is that where you accent comes from because I think a lot of girls out there would like to talk like you. Your voice is so clear, it sounds so relaxed… How do you do it?
Thank you. Born this way! (Laughs and blushes). Born this way and drama training at school from a very young age. Are you familiar with the man called Sydney Poitier? My father was exactly like that, he taught me how to speak English, and you know, watching a lot of television.
Of course, and you picked the accent that you wanted. (laughs)
“Well, I don’t think so. If you met me when I was very young, I spoke exactly the same way – at no point has there ever been a change”
“Now let’s talk about All Access, how’s it going – are you still there?”
All Access was vehicle that got me travelling and meeting incredible international Hollywood stars. It was probably at the top of its game at the time, and it gave me such phenomenal opportunities. Now the show is over, it will return at some point on Mzansi magic at some point, whether I return or not it’s up to me later on if I decide to. But the break has opened up a space for me to explore music, there’s much more space and time.
Please talk about these phenomenal opportunities
I will forever be grateful for All Access because it also gave me a lot of best presenter nominations, and I think winning the style award and All Access was huge part of that. It was truly amazing because by nature I’m not a Fashionista. You know people on the red-carpet who always look well put together and looking nice (laughs) with things on their foreheads but I’m not out there putting things on my forehead, big ear rings, getting tattoos and whatnot (laughs). So it was a really good surprise, an incredible honor and it was voted for by a lot of my peers which makes it so much special.
So you say you’re not a Fashion person?
I said I’m not a Fashionista but I know the value of fashion. For instance, through my foundation which I started in 2010, we’ve gone out and put together ‘Dress for Success’ events. And basically ‘Dress For Success’ is all about getting young woman who are either about to get into the work sphere or just finishing their studies. We get them work-ready and making sure they know what type of outfits to put together for a job interview, for instance, how to dress for your body type and shape. And that’s what we do, we bring some experts along, have a phenomenal morning or afternoon out for the ladies – and we get pampered and spoiled. At the end of it we talk about your self-esteem, we talk about things that make you excellent because the only way to get on in the world and be successful is through excellence.
Let’s talk hair (laughs). Have you ever had a weave on?
I think I’m a hairi-ista! (Laughs)
I was the one who was slated all the time because all I wore was a blonde weave. That was my thing, I didn’t even want to try other colors or braids etc, all I wanted was my blonde weave and so I explored and played around with that. I think the last time I had a weave was two years ago, I was in a mood for weave.
And after that you just went bald
Oh ya. I went bald about 6 years ago for the first time, and it was out of both necessity and curiosity. Necessity because I was in a high pressured situation in my work, I was so stressed and my body reacts when I’m stressed out so my hair started falling out. The boyfriend I dated at a time would tell me ‘shave it off’, and I wondered what that would be like. Seeing other people like Zandi Nhlapo and Khensani with the bald head I thought ‘I wonder if I could do it’. And I think we had a fun time with the bald head, didn’t we? (Smiles)
So what inspires you, what keeps you going, how do you do it? Please share with us your secret to success.
I don’t think there’s a secret to success; I think if you’re very passionate and you work very hard – that’s a secret to success. I work very hard, and I don’t mind putting in a 12 hour day, doing 4 – 5 or 6 jobs in one day. I’ll be tired by the end of the day but I know I’ve made the right investment in the right places. You can make the investment of party all night, that’s the investment you’re making – you’re investing your time, energy and all of your resources in the club so I don’t mind investing all of that at work. It’s just the way it is.
So you did the ‘Summers’, 12th and the 18th annual ‘Summers’. Tell us about that.
The last ones I did were in 2012, the summers are great – it’s a phenomenal party, everyone comes out to celebrate South African music. You get to rub shoulders with all of the best in the industry at the time. The stage at the summers is frenetic, it’s madness, everyone is trying to make sure they look right, everyone is dashing off, quick changes from the presenters and making sure that the stage looks the perfect way for the performer; it’s so much fun! It’s a high pressured situation, you’re there in Sun-City for about a week if you’re a host and you’re rehearsing every single day just for that 2 hours or 3 hours of the Summers.
While we’re on music, you’re also a singer! And you did mention earlier to one of our producers that the only thing that you’ve always wanted to do was to sing.
Singing was my dream from when I was very little, anyone who went to school with me will know that I was in all of the choirs, and I was in all of the shows at school. I finally got the time and space to put my music out there. It’s like all of the cosmos aligned for me to make it happen. I was invited to perform at the Joburg Pride festival, I sang there and I had a really good time doing it. I also got invited to do a lot of corporate shows through my partnership with AVON – I was down in Cape Town.
But what took you so long to finally start singing?
As I mentioned earlier on the cosmos are now aligned (laughs). I’ve had a really phenomenal career so far, and what that means is there’s very little time to do a lot of things. So you make the space and you make the time for the passions that you have. I was always writing music, I was always recording music and always in studio with producers. Bring the music into the public sphere is what needed the ‘readiness’ for everything to be absolutely perfect.
So now we go a little bit personal. Somebody asked on our Facebook Page ‘How do you manage to keep your personal life away from the public?’
I get to be asked this question a lot (smiles)
Well, if I told you my secret it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, would it? (laughs)
(Laughs), so what is your ideal man?
Someone compatible with me, obviously (smiles), I don’t have a type – you can’t put all my ex-boyfriends in a row and say ‘ooooh I get it’ – no you can’t do that; some are short, some are tall, some are white, some are black, some from all over the place. What are you doing Lwazi! (Laughs)
(Laughs) You don’t have a type!
No I don’t have a type! Do you have type?
“No I don’t have a type” Lwazi responds while touching Pabi’s hand.
“Hmnnn, maybe you’re my next type” (Pabi laughs)
So, our Facebook fans want to know what your favorite getaway is.
There are so many places on the planet that I’d like to go to. My favorite holiday so far in my life has been to Cuba, I went to Central America to track the path that my late uncle took during the apartheid era. He was in exile fighting with the MK – the armed forces of the ANC. So he was in Cuba getting tactical warfare training and also getting his university degree. My grandmother last saw her son when he was 16 years old when he went overseas, and he was unfortunately killed on his way back into the country. The 10 years he spent outside the country, family didn’t know exactly know where he went or how he touched down, what kinds of things he was surrounded by. It’s a big gap, so I went to fill that void; I took my video camera and I shot everything – I filmed at his school, and we’ve got his file from the university with all of his exams and you can imagine for a mother just to see his hand writing is such an amazing fulfilling thing. So Cuba for me was my favorite getaway, and it’s really beautiful, the beaches are so beautiful and Spanish people with the Spanish-fire. It was wonderful.
Now, you’re on TV and you’re on Radio…
“Don’t ask which I like more!” (Laughs)
“Well I guess you’ve asked the question” Lwazi responds (laughs)
Well, I like them for different things. I like the immediacy of Radio, it’s live and you’re right there on people’s ears, cars and living rooms and it is unpredictable. There’s so much scope with Radio, you can create massive theatre in people’s imaginations, and you have that control. Whereas television is this visual sexy thing that we’re doing here even; with your outfits, your make-up and the way that you express yourself; that’s what makes television come alive. So I wish I had a favorite, but I think it’s like having a favorite child – maybe you have one at the back of your head but you never tell them – you’ll ruin lives (laughs).
What do you like to do for fun?
I like travelling and I really love sleeping. I like to take a nap! (Laughs)
Also I’ll go train, I do boxing training just for fitness and it’s really fun; you feel really strong and empowered out of kata-box class! (Laughs)
Now let’s go to the photoshoot from today, how was it because we’ve been here the whole day?
The sun came up and the sun went down. (laughs)
I’ve had an amazing time, I have really enjoyed myself. I feel like I was pushed to the edge of what I was capable of or what I thought I was capable of. Lawrence Manyapelo is amazing putting the looks together, putting the shots together, the composition and the models we worked with were so great as well. It was very professional, slick, beautiful photoshoot and I can’t wait to see the results!
Getting married anytime soon? Someone asked that on our Facebook page.