I blew 30k in a weekend to impress my friends - Lumko Johnson
Some of Mzansi’s most famous faces have “taken off the mask” to reveal some of the battles they face behind the scenes — from depression to therapy and spending R30k a weekend to try to keep up the glitzy life of Instagram.
These‚ and more stories‚ were shared over the weekend under the hashtag #TheGramSham‚ the idea of TV personality Jo Lurie.
Earlier this month Jo challenged celebs to get real and show their unfiltered side for Youth Day‚ with the hope of showing young people that the "gram life is not real life".
"People often think that celebrities are living their dream and they have the dream life‚ but when you realise that someone you think is living your dream life is actually living a nightmare‚ it makes you think more carefully. I have seen what people in the industry go through and still found myself wanting to live their dream. Imagine what young people who follow them must think?" she told TshisaLIVE.
Jo added that the false image that was often shown on Instagram could dent a young person's self-esteem and make them think they were just not getting this life thing right.
She called up several celebs to ask them to post more "real" posts on social media‚ showing fans that life was not as glamorous as it may appear.
Lumko Johnson Former YoTV presenter Lumko Johnson was one of the celebs who participated‚ and shared how he once got R30k for a job and blew it all in a matter of days so that he could show his celeb status. He woke up on that Monday morning with only R22.89 in his bank account.
"The first thing I did was call up a few friends. Three of us linked up that weekend living the time of our lives with bottles of bubbly‚ clubs‚ hotels and strippers. Monday morning I had to report to set and as I swiped at the service station this was the notification text of my bank balance."
Imagine starting your weekend with over 30K in your bank account then waking up Monday morning with this bank balance? Here’s a little story I hope will inspire someone: About 5 or 6yrs ago I was one of the main anchors of the country’s biggest live teen variety show. At this time I was also main cast in a prime time weekly drama series that aired on the national broadcaster, the “makings of a teen idol” as my PR bio would read if I were Selena Gomez or Miley 😜. My personal life seemed to flourish as well, I’d just purchased my 1st car, acquired a bond towards a loft apartment in one of JHB’s northern suburbs, well on my trajectory towards success. I made a few friends in showbizz whom I loved because they made me feel famous, like I’m some kind of big deal. I was deeply insecure and a people pleaser - yeah, strange right? Me? INSECURE?! One random afternoon a payment of over 30K came into my bank account from a random job, common practice in this here business, and the first thing I did was call up a few friends. Three of us linked up that weekend living the time of our lives with bottles of bubbly, clubs, hotels and strippers. Monday morning I had to report to set and as I swiped at the service station this was the notification text of my bank balance. I spent all day recalling what I’d spent all that money on, how I’m going to cover my bills and why the fuck was I so irresponsible? I later found out why: I wanted to fit into a realm and level I hadn’t reached yet, I let a bunch of hype words get to my head, I wanted to showcase a “lifestyle” on my gram, I wanted those friends to think I lived that way daily. It’s years later, I’ve kept this SMS as motivation to get up in the morning, as the reason I will work 3 jobs at a time, as a reminder to stay in my lane and walk at my pace because I will never have R22 left in my bank account trying to impress and be liked. This app is but a granule of our realities, shall I remind you that what glitters isn’t always gold. PS: I’m a lot older and wiser now, I still like nice things, I have a little more than R22 in my account for this weekend- don’t worry😂🤷🏽♂️ #HappyYouthDay #Thegramsham
Melanie Bala The TV veteran posted a picture of herself on set of LiveAMP with a massive smile. She revealed that she felt like her life was falling apart when the picture was taken.
"What you don’t see is the exhaustion and sadness. My marriage was over‚ my father had died. I was in therapy‚ on anti-depressants‚ barely sleeping and crying every single day. I hid it all very well except to those very close to me. Why are we so so scared to let people see the real us?" she wrote.
#TheGramSham *deep breath* This picture was taken about 2 years ago at Live Amp. Bob and I had been invited to host an episode. It was a lot of fun. What you don’t see is the exhaustion and sadness. My marriage was over, my father had died. I was in therapy, on anti-depressants, barely sleeping and crying every single day. I hid it all very well except to those very close to me. Why are we so so scared to let people see the real us? To let people know that we’re struggling, that we’re not okay. Is it because we’ll be seen as weak or over sharing? “Why is she putting all her business out there?” Even now, I share this with trepidation because “what will people say” or will some media outlet use it as a story tomorrow? The pressure to present these perfect lives is insane. Don’t get me wrong: we all love to dress up and slay, and get those likes but that’s not real life. Not for me, not for you, not for anyone. Life is not 100% ups all the time. There are a lot of downs too. We need to allow ourselves those moments because in doing so, we share the full range of what makes us human. We invite someone who is struggling too, to say “I am not alone”. The #GloUp is great but there’s a down that has to come first before you can glow up. 50, 5000 or 500,000 followers and we can’t share what’s in our hearts because we’re scared to be judged or to lose brands, sponsorships, opportunities? I’ll take my chances. On this #YouthDay, I want young people to know it’s okay to not be okay. It takes time, effort, tears, work, self-care but you’ll get there ❤️ M. • Click on #TheGramSham for other posts. @thejolurie
Trevor Gumbi The comedian shared a few short truths about himself‚ including that he only had R400 in his main bank account right now and that he gets tattoos to hide his insecurities.
"I suffer from crippling depression and often don’t leave the house cause little things would have me crying like a baby...I often feel like I haven’t reached my full potential and it makes me hate myself and my achievements. I tattoo myself a lot so that people look at my outward appearance and not at the gaping insecurities I have within‚" he wrote.
Tumi Morake Tumi revealed how she has returned to therapy as she looks for answers after a hectic past few months.
"My job is to entertain‚ make light of things. Lately it takes a real effort to do that. I am back in therapy because I am a weird combination of exhausted and on edge and I am looking for answers."
Before I saw this #thegramsham timeline I was asked why I think I have to go through everything alone. From my mother's death to the trauma of the past nine months. Now, two accidents (none caused by me) and a recent armed robbery have left me grabbing each moment like it could be my last with these precious people. My job is to entertain, make light of things. Lately it takes a real effort to do that. I am back in therapy because I am a weird combination of exhausted and on edge and I am looking for answers. For the first time this week I have taken on a more active role with the kids and I have felt like I must have been an absent parent all along. I kept messing up their schedules this week. Shortly after I took this picture I had to get them all to bed because we had work to do. Afia begged me to sleep with her, Lesedi started crying for a cupcake and Bonsu was upset I got his book request wrong. Without dad there I would have been in real trouble. To make things worse I felt bad to be working at home when they expect more time with me and I am busy chasing deadlines. We are all trying. We are all human. Instagram is just a collection of the sparks we collect along the way. 🤗❤️
Celeste Ntuli The comedian posted about feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up.
"Sometimes I don’t want to be strong when I know I’m soft inside. Sometimes I don’t want to survive when I know I should be living"
Sometimes I don’t want to be strong when I know I’m soft inside Sometimes I don’t want to survive when I know I should be living Sometimes I don’t want to fight, to prove to myself and to the world that I AM Sometimes I don’t want to try harder even though I know this might be my hardest Sometimes I want to be heard and to be seen To be seen not in half measures of acceptable self but as God intended me to be To be LOVE and be LOVED To be FEMININE and FREE To be BLACK BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL!! Sometimes I just want to be BLACK IN PEACE!! To be AFRICAN WOMAN #TheGramSham #LIONESSONTHERISE 👑❤️💃🏿🇿🇦🌍👑 LIVE LOVE LAUGH
Gail Mabalane The actress said that she was dealing with insecurities that often plague her and others.
"What you don’t see in this pic is ... The insecurity. It’s sounds small‚ but it’s something that affects most areas of our lives. I’ve spent a lot of time learning to deal with insecurity (especially since I’ve been in my industry). Wondering...am I enough? ... I’m slowly learning that I don't need to fit in."
#TheGramSham The truth is ... what you don’t see in this pic is ... The insecurity. It’s sounds small, but it’s something that affects most areas of our lives. I’ve spent a lot of time learning to deal with insecurity (especially since I’ve been in my industry). Wondering...am I enough? ... I’m slowly learning that I DON’T need to fit in...in fact, learning that the plan was never for me to fit in at all. The older I’ve gotten, the more secure I’ve become...& the closer I get to God, the more secure I’ve become in who I am in Him. To every young person reading this, I want to remind you that social media is NOT real life. We are all just here putting our best foot forward. There is A LOT we don’t post. I want to encourage you to find identity in knowing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose greater than being “accepted” on social media. God’s plan for your life is perfect. I wish, on this #YouthDay, and everyday, you know that you are enough...JUST AS YOU ARE. #FailingForward #ImperfectlyPerfect #HappyYouthDay #TheGramSham @thejolurie
Letshego Zulu The fitness guru also shared a picture of herself smiling‚ and revealed that she was crumbling inside when it was taken at her cousin's wedding.
"I truly should have been front and centre celebrating my big sister's special day. I struggled to sit through the church service. Struggled to dance in the street as we do at weddings. When the MC was running late‚ she asked me to step in and the thought of that broke me completely and I fell apart.
"Why? My heart was raw and naturally I was thinking of my hubby who passed a mere 4 months prior. Yes‚ you see me smiling. Yes‚ you see me laughing. Yes‚ I look like "everything is alright". Truth? The heart bleeds and the tears flow."
#TheGramSham This picture was taken November 2016 at my cousins wedding. A joyous day. It was also the 1 day I fought tears the hardest and failed dismally (you can see it on my face). I truly should have been front and centre celebrating my Big Sisters special day. I struggled to sit through the church service. Struggled to dance in the street as we do at weddings. When the MC was running late, she asked me to step in and the thought of that broke me completely and I fell apart. Why? My heart was raw and naturally I was thinking of my Hubby who passed a mere 4 months prior. Yes, you see me smiling. Yes, you see me laughing. Yes, I look like "everything is alright". Truth? The heart bleeds and the tears flow. One thing is for sure...You learn to LIVE WITH IT. The clock keeps ticking and one must keep marching forward, otherwise you get stuck in a black hole. Life is a blessing and it is there to be lived...to the full. Our life experiences vary at most and they are there to shape us. Peace. #ImperfectlyPerfect #HappyYouthDay @thejolurie