Thembi Seete opens up about fame, grief and motherhood

Influencers win big at Sowetan Women’s Club

Thembi Seete at the Sowetan Women’s Club and Toi Moi event in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Thembi Seete at the Sowetan Women’s Club and Toi Moi event in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Thembi Seete has opened up for the first time about the grief of losing her number one supporter and mother Rebecca a couple of weeks ago.

The 44-year-old actor and musician was the guest speaker at the Sowetan Women’s Club on Saturday, where the spirit of sisterhood was trending as readers, celebrities and influencers toasted the paper’s 40th anniversary over Toi Moi.

The Gomora star recalled some of the fondest memories of her mother and how she contributed to making some of Boom Shaka’s most memorable looks.

There was not a dry eye in the house as Seete poured her heart out about struggling to come to terms with losing a parent. 

“It’s hard. It’s very painful and the only way to heal is to allow it – feel everything. They say it gets better [with time], but I’m waiting for that moment,” Seete said, fighting back tears.

“I try to be as present as I can and I try to remember those happy moments as much as I can. I really don’t want to go dark and deep because it spoils everything.”

But Seete is finding some comfort in arms of her three-year-old son Dakalo. 

“He brings me so much joy. There is no dull moment with him. There is no sadness with him, it’s always a party. I feel like this is God’s way of showing me that he’s around,” Seete opened up about motherhood.

“I look at him even if I don’t feel like waking up at 5am in the morning, I’m going to do it. He has brought me so much hope and live. He has given me purpose. He makes me feel good and beautiful. He makes me laugh. He gives me hugs every single day and he’s always like ‘mommy I love you’. There is no man that tells me ‘I love you’ so many times.”

Seete expressed her gratitude for being honoured as part of the Sowetan40 x Netflix campaign a few months ago.

“It made me so emotional. I work not because I’m looking for accolades or applauses. I work because it makes me happy and when someone says ‘well done’, it’s a big deal,” Seete said.

“Being recognised like that was special for me and it allowed me to go back in time. I have been working so much that I didn’t realise what I have been doing. I forgot some of the things I did and it was all playing out.”

Other guest speakers included former child star Hulisani Ravele and digital creator Mpoomy Ledwaba – married to musician Brenden Praise. Radio personality Bunny Majaja was the host, with fellow Idols SA alumni Nolo Seodisha performing his latest music.

TV personality Olwethu Leshabane won the influencer award in the media and entertainment category. Reality TV star and transgender activist Yaya Mavundla scooped a win in the arts and culture category. Fashion stylist Omila Gqoboka was named the winner for beauty and fashion. 

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