BONANG, PEARL IN COSMETIC ROW
TV personalities Bonang Matheba and Pearl Thusi are engaged in a bitter spat over a top contract for cosmetics giant Revlon, which chose Matheba as the face of its brand two years ago. After Thusi revealed her disdain for Matheba this week, City Press learnt that their beef started two years ago when Matheba was approached to be Revlon’s brand ambassador.
City Press has obtained copies of two emails between Revlon and Capacity Relations, Matheba’s former agency. The emails reveal that Revlon approached the agency asking to work with Matheba.
But two weeks later, while Revlon was already in talks with Matheba, Capacity Relations approached Revlon to pitch Thusi to them “as Revlon’s brand ambassador for the African market”.
The contract was reported to be worth R2.5 million over two years.
The drama started on August 30 2012, when Revlon SA marketing director Pumza Payi sent her first email to Capacity Relations, which read: “We will greatly appreciate your time to discuss potential synergies that could be leveraged between Revlon and the Bonang Matheba brand.”
On September 16 2012, Capacity Relations’ MD Sarit Reouveni Tomlinson wrote to Payi trying to sell Thusi by saying that she and her brand were “beautifully aligned to the Revlon ethos; it’s hard to distinguish the two”.
“Effortlessly glamorous and yet completely down to earth, Pearl’s natural beauty and warm personality never fail to charm those around her. Her core values are honesty, reliability and integrity and she inspires others with her can-do attitude.
“Pearl’s acting and modelling professions have taken her around the world, shaping her cosmopolitan personality and appreciation for all things different and exotic.”
“Pearl’s mind-set is healthy, happy and focused and, as a professional, Pearl can be described as driven, passionate about life and completely determined to succeed in everything she takes on.”
Five months later, Matheba announced that she had left Capacity Relations.
Thusi’s “honesty” came to the fore this week when she told internet radio jock Gareth Cliff that she and Matheba were far from being friends.
When Cliff asked about Thusi’s relationship with rapper AKA, she said: “I think people like to take on the beef of the people they’re dating and I think that’s what’s going on because AKA and I don’t have a problem. I don’t have any issues with AKA. I think he’s just supporting his girl and that means being against me. But I’m not like that, I’m not going to be bullied by someone who thinks they’re better than me,” she said. Thusi denied she was competing with Matheba. “I’m not going to be bullied by someone who thinks they’re better than me or are going to put me down to make themselves feel better. It’s fine – if I go down, I’ll go down, but I’m not going to go down without a fight.
“It’s a thing of finding out stuff a person has been saying or doing without you even knowing. You know, like a ‘snake in the grass’-type thing where you’re like: ‘Hawu, I thought we were indifferent to each other,’” she said.
Capacity Relations director Shiri Reouveni, sister of Reouveni Tomlinson, said on Friday that both women were approached to be brand ambassadors for Revlon, but the company had decided to use just one of them.
“Obviously, Pearl was disappointed that she didn’t get the gig. But there was no ‘behind her back’ or any drama associated [with that], both were approached and Bonang got the gig,” Reouveni said.
She also denied that there was a dispute between the two. “The two are absolutely fine with each other,” she said.
Revlon’s communications manager Michelle Stevens refused to comment on Friday.
Matheba would not comment and referred questions to her agency, Brand Three Sixty Communications. Thusi also refused to comment. “If it’s anything to do with Revlon, please speak to my PR manager,” she said, referring to her agency.
KISS AND MAKE-UP
Bonang Matheba (left) and Pearl Thusi