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Tshego Koke talks about his amazing journey, mental health

'It’s also important to find a home within us'

Masego Seemela Online journalist
TV presenter Tshego Koke.
TV presenter Tshego Koke.
Image: Supplied.

Mzansi has witnessed closely the evolution of Tshego Koke since he stepped into the television scene almost four years ago.

Koke, who has delved into music, TV, radio and fashion, has in recent months risen the popularity as a fitness fanatic. 

The 30-year-old MTV Base presenter chats to SMag about what makes him one of the most influential youngsters in modern pop culture.

How has your life been since assuming your role as a TV presenter for MTV Base?

It’s been quite a blessing for me.  It has affirmed and validated all that I have prayed for and ever wanted. We are currently celebrating our MTV Base Day month anniversary and it’s crazy how far the brand has come.

Looking back I’m really honoured to be one of the few who have been giving the platform to express my talent and I’m looking forward to the journey ahead with the channel.

How would you describe your journey thus far?

It’s been a beautiful unfolding of events. It’s humbling and heartwarming at the same time. When you’re outside looking in you may see my journey as amazing and I can gladly say that it is that way from the inside as well.

What are the most memorable moments of your career?

Definitely winning the MTV Base VJ Search and travelling the world due to what I do for a living. Another highlight was winning GQ’s best dressed award – fashion is another element I wanted to be recognised for and I’m glad I got that nod.

What have you found challenging since being famous?

As you grow, you start to learn more about the ways of the industry but in the same breath, you also discover things about yourself. You start to learn about the humans in the space you find yourself in and that’s one thing I found challenging.

Image: Supplied.

The notion that I am just human and it’s okay to be normal, even though people out there consider me as a role model, I always make sure to keep my mental health in check before conforming to any type of pressure… that’s a narrative I’ll always try to push.  

Would you say your life is how you expected it? 

Yes, when I was a kid I used to say I was going to be on television and influence people positively, either through fitness, music or fashion. I actually wouldn’t change anything in the way my life panned out.

If you weren’t a public figure, what else would you be doing?

I’d be in the marketing or fitness space. I really love how the human anatomy works and healthy eating plans. I’d also probably be a fashion designer or creative director of some sort.

How it is like being MTV Base’s culture squad?

It’s quite empowering. Even though I’m getting older by the year, I still feel ever-youthful. It’s quite inspiring how I’ve grown and found myself throughout my time at MTV Base – a truly history making moment that I am grateful to be a part of.

How do you protect your mental health?

Image: Supplied.

The wave of sadness that we as human beings go through on a daily can take a knock on a person but it’s always important to take care of yourself and your mental health as much as possible. Yes, there are times when we wake up and don’t feel like pushing through, but overcoming all those obstacles is what can help us soldier through. It’s also important to find a home within us and align ourselves with the true ethos of who we want to be.     

The world is full of voids that certain things cannot fill and we need not stress ourselves over things that won’t mean anything to us in the long run.

What is it like being a man in society today?

It’s extremely difficult because at times, we men make it difficult for ourselves and those around us. This is due to the algorithm that we followed through tradition, but at least things are becoming a whole lot broader, For instance, the conversations we couldn’t have back then, we need to start having them now.

The things we now consider to not be good for us, we need to stop doing. To be a man in SA now, we need to learn and unlearn a lot of things that society has constructed.   

What are your future goals and ambitions? 

I plan to grow my footprint in the fitness and nutrition space and do other things outside of presenting. I might take up acting.

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