Basetsana Kumalo on success, relationships, harassment and lessons learned

07 October 2019 - 10:43
'Bassie' is an intimate, candid and inspring account of a remarkable life.
'Bassie' is an intimate, candid and inspring account of a remarkable life.
Image: Penguin

Basetsana Kumalo (née Makgalemele) shot to fame as a fresh-faced Miss SA in 1994 and soon became the face of the country's new democracy.

As the first black presenter of the glamorous lifestyle TV show, Top Billing, she travelled the world and interviewed superstars like Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Will Smith, the Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan and Luther Vandross.

After a successful career in television, Bassie’s drive and ambition took her into the world of business. The street savvy that her entrepreneurial mother gave her stood her in good stead as she built a media empire. When she married the handsome businessman, Romeo Kumalo, in a fairytale wedding, they became SA’s sweethearts and “it” couple.

Bassie: My Journey of Hope recounts the stories of her life as a celebrity, including her relationships with mentors like Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Graça Machel.

She also shares the secrets of her success and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way, and opens up about the pressures of her high-profile marriage to Romeo, their heartbreaking struggle to have a family and how they made sure their loving and respectful union has lasted two decades.

Bassie also talks frankly about the domestic abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of boxer Dingaan Thobela and the legal battles she had to fight to protect her name and her brand over the years. She gives her account of the stalker who harassed her for decades  and the non-existent “sex-tape” allegation that rocked her family and career, leading to painful experiences of cyberbullying.

Bassie is an intimate, inspiring and entertaining account of a remarkable life.


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