Redi Tlhabi clears the air on moving to America‚ reveals mom's health battle

Redi Tlhabi
Image: John Liebenberg

Redi Tlhabi has come out to clear the air on questions around her delayed departure to study in America‚ revealing that her mother has a brain tumour and that she doesn't want to leave until she's okay.

Tlhabi left 702 last year after being offered an economic journalism fellowship at Columbia University in New York. The station said at the time that it was "an opportunity for her to broaden her broadcast knowledge and expertise”.

However‚ a year after she left the station Tlhabi is yet to leave for America‚ leading to questions from fans on what went wrong.

In a Twitter discussion on Wednesday about elderly family members who are left in South Africa while their children move overseas Tlhabi said she felt it was the right time to answer the questions she had been asked about her move to America.

"It feels like the right moment to answer the‚ 'When are you going to America....didn't she say she is going to America?'...Yes I am."

Tlhabi revealed the move had been delayed because her mom had a brain tumour that needed months of recovery.

"My mom has a brain tumor. Major operation. She will need months to recover. I'm not getting on that plane until she is 100%."

She did not go into further details but fans immediately responded to the message with support and prayers for her family.

Since Tlhabi's departure from radio she has been focusing her energy on working with various local and international stakeholders to create campaigns to fight sexual violence.

She has also spoken on the media and social justice issues at several events.

Tlhabi told TshisaLIVE last year that she scared of starting a new adventure.

"I don’t function in that realm. Honestly. For me‚ once I wish and long for something‚ I open my heart and trust that it will be for the good of everyone. No doubts. I turned down an opportunity to work for the BBC in London because I assumed Brian would not want to move. Two years later‚ I had another offer from an international broadcaster. I was merely informing Brian that I had just met with them - I had not thought about taking the opportunity. And he said 'What‚ you cannot turn something like that down." And then I told him about the BBC opportunity two years earlier and he said "And you turned them down? Baby‚ no‚ grab these chances.'

"So‚ from the first day‚ there was no doubt. I have also made plans for all our nannies and domestic workers. They will all be accommodated. So once I sorted that out‚ then there was really nothing else worthy worrying about."