Recharged Thembisa Mdoda back on new OPW
After a few weeks away to spread her wings, award-winning TV presenter Thembisa Mdoda is back to reclaim her throne.
To anyone who missed Mdoda's signature signing-off catchphrase - "Sifike! Sabona! Satshatisa!" - on Our Perfect Wedding (OPW), the wait is almost over. Sunday, July 9, not only marks the return of Idols SA on Mzansi Magic, but Mdoda will on the night stage her much-anticipated OPW comeback.
"I love the show. E very time I come back I just feel a lot happier. We have been shooting for a few weeks now. It's winter weddings, so it's great," Mdoda reveals.
"I always miss my crew a lot; they take care of me so much. I miss the weddings themselves because every wedding comes with something different.
"The food and hospitality are always incredible. Because you taste the cakes, you have to tell yourself 'don't go in too much'.
"It's difficult because you are in front of the screen, your weight fluctuates and people can spot that."
During Mdoda's sabbatical, vivacious actress Nomsa Buthelezi has been holding fort. Mdoda gives her temporary replacement the thumbs up.
"I've been so busy, but I have seen titbits. She is getting the hang of things. I like her, she's got an energy that she brings."
Perhaps it's Mdoda's gap-toothed smile and doe-eyed soft glance complete with her sartorial elegance and inherent warmth on the show that has everyone spellbound. Even TV maven Bonang Matheba is enchanted by Mdoda's presenting pizzazz.
"Thembisa Mdoda is having a career of her life. She is multifaceted and a fresh-faced presenter who came out of nowhere and just exploded," Matheba tells Time Out.
The local awards circuit also finds Mdoda irresistible. In March, she scooped a SA Film and Television Award. She has just been nominated for the inaugural DSTV Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards in the TV Presenter category - going up against Matheba, Robert Marawa, Phat Joe and Pearl Modiadie.
Mdoda, a trained actress, never in her wildest dreams imagined being a superstar TV presenter, until serendipity took its course.
"I've had an incredible year. I'm honoured and blessed. I never saw hitting it big as a TV presenter coming. When you are studying drama at Wits they drill it into you that the arts are important and your craft is supposed to be like this," Mdoda says.
"Now when you come into the industry you are like 'I'm an artist', then you open yourself up to other forms of art and entertainment.
"You learn so much from that, you find your drive and discover that you can perform on any platform. It was incredible once I got into that drive."
During her OPW hiatus, Mdoda scored a radio spot on Touch HD. It had been seven years since Mdoda was last on radio.
"We resurrected Voice of Wits. I started off as a newsreader, then DJ, then programmes manager. That's when Highveld Stereo came and took me from campus radio," Mdoda recalls.
"Eventually I decided to give it all up to go back to the stage. Seven years later Tbo Touch calls me. I'm just having so much fun with it."
Mdoda will be shooting two films later this year. At home she is a proud mother to twin boys.
"Motherhood is a learning curve. Now I get to sit down with my boys and have a conversation.
"They have words of wisdom. Raising boys is so different, because it's just girls at my house. It's a beautiful experience."
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