Bonang Matheba (born 25 June 1987) is a South African television personality, radio host and businesswoman. She rosed to fame when she became a presenter in the SABC 1 music show, LIVE (2007-2012), now known as Live Amp.
Facts about Bonang Matheba
- Some of her career highlights include being the first South African celebrity to launch an online reality show, “B*Dazzled” (2011).
- The first Black South African to feature on the cover of FHM Magazine SA (2011).
- The first South African star to cover Cleo Magazine South Africa (2011).
- The first and only face of international cosmetics brand, Revlon, outside of the USA (2013).
- The first South African to host the MTV Europe Music Award pre-show (2014).
- The first South African to get their own E! News Special in Africa (2015).
- The first Black South African to cover Glamour Magazine South Africa (2014).
Bonang Matheba Family
Bonang Dorothy Matheba was born in the North West of South Africa. Her mother Charlotte was the Corporate Head of Human Resources at a major agribusiness company, and her father Gampi was a senior lecturer at the University of North West.
She has an older sister named Nthabiseng. Her parents divorced and her mother later married Joe Mokoena and had a son, Thabo Mokoena, Bonang’s half-brother. The family relocated to Leondale, in the East of Johannesburg, while Bonang attended Fourways High School, a prestigious government co-ed school in Johannesburg’s affluent Northern Suburbs.
Bonang Matheba Career
In 2007, Bonang received her break-out job hosting of the hugely popular music show “LIVE”, where she had auditioned an astounding 5 times during the shows open auditions, reportedly going to the great lengths of travelling from city to city to re-audition for the show, much to the judges amazement, who in awe of the persistence and talent crowned her the winner.
The demand of TV presenting and the pressures of her new found fame resulted in Bonang cutting short her tertiary education and dropping out to focus solely on her career as a presenter on South Africa’s most watched music series. Her parents (her father being a University professor) weren’t too thrilled about her dropping out of her studies to pursue a television career. Bonang has said in many interviews that she had to work hard to convince them that dropping out of university was crucial to her realising her dreams.
After joining “LIVE”, Bonang gained increasing popularity, showcasing her presenting prowess every Friday night on the country’s most watched music show. She quickly became the country’s most popular celebrity and often referred to as “South Africa’s original it girl”.
Matheba launched a clothing line in 2008, “Just B”, with retailer “Legit” and soon after partnered with a London-based designer to create a line of handbags called “Baby Star”.
In 2009 after sending her demo tape to popular youth radio station, YFM several times and being rejected over a period of two years, Bonang received the call that she would be added to the new line-up of on-air presenters, receiving her own weekend afternoon show called, “The B* Hive” which was an instant hit with the stations young listeners.
In 2011 she appeared for the first time on television as an actor in the hit drama series, InterSEXions, where she played Nurse Seipati. After the episode aired, Bonang was quoted as saying, she knows her limits, and respects actors and their craft and would not be pursuing a career in acting.
In 2012, after five years on “LIVE”, Bonang announced that she would be leaving the music series on channel SABC 1 to join the popular luxury lifestyle and travel show Top Billing on SABC 3. During her Top Billing debut, the show’s producers reported a large spike in viewership.
In 2013, Bonang was revealed as the TV host for international singing franchise Clash of The Choirs where she held the fort for two seasons until she was replaced by up and coming host Lawrence Maleka. In the same year Bonang was named the first Ambasssador outside of the US for the International beauty giant, Revlon. Although not confirmed, her pay check was rumored to be in the early eight figures.
In 2014, high-end South African retail brand, Woolworths (South Africa), revealed a collaboration with Bonang on a luxury lingerie line, “Bonang for Distraction”, that sees the two brands releasing sultry bedroom-wear collections yearly.
In the same year, Bonang was announced as a new radio Dj for the 6 million strong Metro FM radio’s mid-morning slot. She replaced Siphokazi January who had taken over from Metro FM veteran, Azania Mosaka. Her show The Front Row enjoyed great listenership until a dispute with the radio station’s manager, after an on-air reshuffle that saw Bonang hosting the show alongside her rumored longtime industry rival Lerato Kganyago without her notification arose. Outraged by their lack of communication, Bonang resigned from the radio station the next day.