SALAMINA A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

BRAINY BEAUTY: Salamina Mosese has a busy schedule that gives her access to celebrities both locally and overseas.Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo.  05/01/2010. © Sowetan.
05/01/2010. TV presenter, Salamina Mosese after an interview with Sowetan. PHOTO: VATHISWA RUSELO
BRAINY BEAUTY: Salamina Mosese has a busy schedule that gives her access to celebrities both locally and overseas.Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 05/01/2010. © Sowetan. 05/01/2010. TV presenter, Salamina Mosese after an interview with Sowetan. PHOTO: VATHISWA RUSELO

HAT is probably the country's leading and unapologetically urbane, cosmopolitan and well-polished TV lifestyle show has, for slightly more than a year now, been invaded by a commoner as presenter.

HAT is probably the country's leading and unapologetically urbane, cosmopolitan and well-polished TV lifestyle show has, for slightly more than a year now, been invaded by a commoner as presenter.

SABC2's Top Billing, produced by former beauty queen, TV personality and businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo, has always been presented by beauty queens and celebrities. Joan Strauss, seasoned actor Tumisho Masha and Basetsana herself. The list goes on.

But since late 2008 a new face has broken the tradition of this influential show, whose tastes, style, texture and main framework are unmistakably middle class.

Petite Salamina Mosese has not won any beauty contest of note, but was born and bred in Zebediela, in deep rural Limpopo.

Not that she lacks anything in the beauty stakes. She can actually give beauty queens a good run for their money with her alluring looks, sophisticated manners, polished, urbane demeanour, impeccable English and ability to engage intellectually.

It must be these qualities that drove former Generations actor Tshepo "Howza" Mosese to ask her to be his partner for life only four months after dating.

"We disagree on the exact time when he asked me to marry him after dating," she said.

"He insists it's eight months, but I know that it was four months after dating. For me, the other four months we were just friends trying to get to know each other.

"Marriage has been wonderful to both of us. We got married in September 2008, and the ceremony was attended by about 600 people, and yet some people say it was held in secret. I think that's because the media was not there. We wanted it that way.

"Marriage is a serious thing and we did not want to make it a glamorous event by splashing it out in the media and make it look like a publicity stunt," she said.

Salamina is now a household name in people's living rooms as she interviews some of the most influential celebrities, not only here but abroad as well. This added to the fact that Howza, now a musician and motivational speaker on diabetes, means that they find it hard to harmonise their diaries to spend quality time together.

"Just last year alone, I was in LA, New York, went to London four times and also visited Ireland on Top Billing business.

"In December I had just returned from overseas when Howza had to leave for Greece. Sometimes it is challenging as both of us are busy and are always travelling, and are meeting people everywhere we go.

"The bottom line is that we trust each other, and trust is important in a relationship," she said.

Salamina is not new to TV though. She presented Soulbuddyz, an SABC1 show, for eight years, was on kiddies' show Crazy for a year, and has also been on e.tv's Backstage.

"I never dreamt of being on TV to be famous. It just happened, and the way I carry myself in public is not informed by the desire to be famous. For me it is work, and at work there is a certain way of carrying oneself," she said.

Salamina landed the Top Billing job after attending auditions and the producers liked her.

But for those who think she is just lucky, wait a moment. She is educated too as she has a degree in corporate communications from the University of Johannesburg.

She also started a new job as assistant communications manager this week at an education development organisation.

"I am so happy about this new job since I have always wanted to use my degree in a 9-to-5 job."

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