FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, TV HOST AND SINGER KATLEGO MABOE HAD INTIMATE DETAILS OF HIS RELATIONSHIP SPLASHED ALL OVER THE TABLOIDS. HE DELETED HIS SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS AND FOCUSED ON FEEDING HIS SOUL AND CHANNELLING ALL HIS ENERGY INTO THE ONE THING THAT MATTERED TO HIM MOST – HIS SON. TODAY, HE IS SITTING DOWN WITH INBOUND SA EDITOR GAVIN PRINS , A NEW PERSON FULL OF JOKES, AND ENERGY, AND DOING THE ONE THING HE MISSED MOST, SMILING.
It seems the SABC game show Deal or No Deal was just what Katlego Maboe (37) or Kat as he is known in the industry, needed to smile again.
“Gosh, I looked at myself the other day and compared pictures of me now and how I looked the past few months. I am smiling again,” he tells me. And then: “Hey! What is this? Oprah? This is deep. I thought you said this was going to be a FUN interview,” he says laughing.
Our interview is via Skype as he sits in a hotel room at the Blaauwberg Beach Hotel in Cape Town. His skin looks radiant. He doesn’t use many products he says. “I use face wash and moisturise. Nothing special.”
He misses Expresso Show after taking time off the show for two years to deal privately with the negative publicity.
“I remember a time when Michael Mol played a trick on me. One day he went to change my script. I started reading about a Russian play called ‘You Son of a ..’ but fortunately did not say the last word. There was also a time I forgot I was live on air and started talking to the director. It was crazy.”
How to deal with bullies on social media
We are not here to talk about his private life but instead about how he learned to deal with bullies on social media.
“I have come to realise that people post negative things about you so THEY can trend. You have to take these comments where it comes from.
When I was going through my dip, I just took a break from social media. For 9 months.”
But when he bounced back, he took to TikTok and started posting videos of him doing what he loves to do – singing.
“I sang a song by Nigerian artist Ayra Starr. It is my most viewed video. And she commented on it. I was so shocked.”
He also drew strength from the support he got from his mother, Beauty.
I ALIGN ALL MY DECISIONS AROUND MY SON
“She went through a similar situation I went through, and she saw herself in me.” We then switch to his son, Phoenix. I can tell he is a proud daddy because his smile just became bigger.
“I align all my decisions around my son. Man, he is my everything.”
And the biggest life lesson learned?
“I have stopped being a people pleaser. I have also become unapologetically honest. My YES is my YES.”
Kat is excited about 2024…
“Hopefully, I get to give more money away on Deal or No Deal. I want to make more people’s dreams come true. I want to see the show grow.”
He also wants to develop his music. He misses the acapella band, Flip-A-Coin, that he was part of years ago.
“We are constantly talking about a reunion, but the members are so far spread across the globe. The idea of a reunion is not going to happen anytime soon. But you never know.” For now, he focuses on being the best dad, his job as a TV host, and Ambassador for Hope Cape Town – an organisation that seeks to improve the quality of life of children, youth, and families affected by HIV.
We’re about to wrap up the interview when InBound SA editorial assistant, Maurisha Niewenhuys, who is with him in the room, jumps in. “What would you like for Christmas?” He ponders and then shouts: “Wisdom. I want to make wise decisions.”
That big smile again.
Kat has accomplished such amazing things in life that could not have been done without wisdom. But one thing is certain: his energy is infectious and a person you want to invite for dinner one day.
Food – Curry (Indian style)
Car – Aston Martin
Colour – Black
Movie – Man on Fire