Thembisa a breath of fresh air in showbiz
Our entertainer of the year is reveling in life after 'OPW'.
Thembisa Mdoda's mammoth year breathed fresh life into showbiz by all accounts and she has outpaced her celebrity peers to be crowned our entertainer of the year.
Combining her effervescent personality, brilliant presenting style and chic fashion, Mdoda's appeal has spread across all corners of South Africa - wooing critics and admirers alike along the way.
With zero controversy or gimmicks, she proved that being yourself is more than enough.
"2017 is exactly what I prayed for it to be. I was like a newborn this year. It was incredible," she confesses.
"I almost felt like the old Thembisa was buried and then something came about this year.
"My attitude changed, my smile is brighter and I think people saw the new beginning I was given by God. They love it and I can only be grateful for that."
Her triumph started in March at the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) after winning most popular TV presenter for her work on Our Perfect Wedding (OPW).
She went on to clean up at the inaugural DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards in August - scooping the awards for top TV presenter as well as ultimate viewers' choice.
If there was any doubt about her fashion influence, after the night there was none, as she left fashion lovers gasping with her grand red carpet look. Her Theodorah Zulu rainbow Ndebele print dress simply wrote its way into the history books. Ska ba hemisa!
It came as no surprise when she was honoured with the gong for most stylish performing artist in film or TV at the SA Style Awards in November.
"Winning a Safta was a definite highlight for me. It has been a long-time dream for me as an artist. I think it was the first time that I realised the work that I do has reached so many people."
After announcing her decision to leave OPW after three successful seasons in August, many naysayers predicted that her star would fade. But with a number of exciting gigs lined up in the new year, Mdoda's star continues to shine brighter than ever.
"Life after OPW has been beautiful. As soon as I took that leap, so many other great things opened up for me. 2018 is going to be bigger and better."
On February 2, she will spearhead the cast of new urban drama Unmarried, premiering on the new 1Magic channel.
She is then expected to dazzle in the inaugural season of M-Net dance show Dancing with the Stars, startingon February 4.
On the big screen, her upcoming film Baby Mamas, alongside Dineo Ranaka and Salamina Mosese, looks set to be the next big thing.
We are truly committed to each other and this love. At the end that's all I could ever ask for from God - a man that's truly committed to me
"Unmarried has such an incredible cast with an equally incredible story. I'm playing a character that's far removed from me. I let go so much for this character," she teases. "I'm looking forward to Dancing with the Stars too. I love the costumes, shoes and whole pizzazz of the show. We start training in January."
The one big thing she is most excited about next year is her twin boys starting primary school.
"My kids are going into big school, which is my proudest moment," she gushes.
Her romantic life has been blooming too. In August, she exclusively told Sowetan that she had found love on OPW, although she still prefers to keep her partner's name a mystery.
"It's like any other relationship; it has its ups and downs.
"You know the whole thing about being in a relationship and an artist? People want to know everything about you, and not in a bad way. People really just want to rejoice with you. People just want to know who he is and what he does. But it's really that part of me I want to keep solid.
"We are truly committed to each other and this love. At the end that's all I could ever ask for from God - a man that's truly committed to me."
Take a bow Thembisa, what a year you've had!
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