Thobile MaKhumalo Mseleku made her eagerly-anticipated debut on Season 2 of the Showmax Original The Real Housewives of Durban on Friday, 4 February.
MaKhumalo is one of three new wives featured this season. Londie London and Jojo Robinson made their debuts last Friday, when the first episode of Season 2 went straight back to the top of the Twitter trends charts.
Being married to popular polygamist Musa Mseleku, MaKhumalo is no stranger to the public eye. In addition to her appearances on Uthando Nes’thembu and Mnakwethu, she’s a radio personality on Vuma FM and an in-demand motivational speaker, among other things. We chatted to her to find out more.
Thobile MaKhumalo Mseleku in ‘The Real Housewives of Durban’
Why did you decide to be part of this franchise?
I think the biggest reason was the fact that many people know me from Uthando Nes’thembu, and they don’t get to understand Thobile as an individual. And whenever you go around, people cannot just see you as yourself, but they have to bring in the family you’re married into because that’s how they know you. Which is not a bad thing and it’s something that I don’t have a problem with – but I have a life outside the whole family.
I need people that I can mingle with and try to see if I can make a living outside of home and still have people around me who make sense to me. So joining The Real Housewives of Durban is going to assist me in knowing people that I’ve seen already doing stuff for themselves and people that I believe have some things in common. They are all driven just like I am.
When you told your husband and your family that you were joining the show, what was their reaction?
I never told the entire family as a whole – I just told my husband as I had to keep things under wraps until the reveal of the new cast members.
I spoke to my husband about the opportunity and he was nothing but supportive. My husband is someone who is very supportive, especially when it comes to anything that will make you grow in all aspects of your life.
He obviously has his concerns about some things. We are a polygamous family, and there are certain values and cultural things that could be compromised if you go into a show like this. As happy as he was for me, he had to raise some concerns. We did discuss everything and agreed on certain things, but other than that, he was in full support.
What was your experience filming the reality series?
I’ve been doing a reality show for over five years now. This is quite different: it keeps me very busy, but so far so good. It’s very interesting working with people you don’t know that much about.
I happen to be one of the people who are new to the group. You’re finding people who already know each other and have stuff that they have in common, so it can be challenging, but the ladies have been welcoming so far. I love being around them.
Who would you say you’ve learned the most from on the show and why?
I’m still getting to know them. I’m getting to understand different versions of them that you won’t normally see when everyone is together.
They’re also getting to know me, and naturally when getting to know people, you relate differently with each individual. I also think that the more they get to understand me and not the person on Uthando Nes’thembu, the better.
Is there a cast member you don’t quite gel with?
A very interesting question. You know, you would expect to gel with some people, because they know you, and you’ve been in the same spaces with them. Only to find out that you don’t quite get well with each other. So yeah, there is someone (laughs).
What will viewers take away from watching this season?
I think authenticity! Especially from me. Everything is real about me. So if you want to make me do something that is not true and real, I won’t give it to you. If you want drama at my expense, you won’t get it. I just believe in being genuine. With my experience in reality shows, I believe that I’m adding a lot of value to the show.
Also, viewers will get to see that we can stand together in support of one another without competing. We do different things at different times and we just need to complement one another.
If you had to advise a housewife who would be interested in joining this franchise in future, what would you say to them?
You need to be mentally strong and stable. It’s easy to feel under pressure when you associate yourself with different women who have made it in life. You will end up falling under pressure and doing things you will regret at the end of the day. People are living different lives, so do not conform. Know who you are and just do you every day. Don’t be pressured by the lifestyle of others. I think if you get it right there, you will be fine.
Also, reality has a tendency of catching up with you. If you think you’re gonna lie for the benefit of gaining viewers and gaining people who love you, trust me, viewers are not stupid. For example, people have been misunderstanding me or thinking I’m not the real me, but now they’ve fallen in love with the real me. The public now understands that this is actually me. I’ve never wanted to conform; I never wanted to be someone that I’m not.
Fans can follow Thobile MaKhumalo Mseleku on Instagram here. Catch her in the new season of The Real Housewives of Durban on Showmax, with new episodes every Friday.