Mak­ing moves

A new times­lot and a new pre­sen­ter: Ayanda Thabethe is mov­ing in and adding a sparkle to the Top Billing team.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - LIFESTYLE -

Ac­tress and TV pre­sen­ter Ayanda Thabethe was taken by sur­prise when she was called by SABC3 life­style su­per show Top Billing (1998- cur­rent). “It’s al­ways been my dream job,” says the 31-yearold, who eyed a tele­vi­sion pre­sent­ing job af­ter grad­u­at­ing with hon­ours in mar­ket­ing in 2011. Ayanda’s first job was in the cor­po­rate world though, work­ing nine to five as a brand man­ager. “But I took a leap of faith by leav­ing and go­ing in search of a ca­reer on­screen,” she ex­plains. Her first job in front of the cam­eras was co-host­ing mag­a­zine show Top En­ter­tain­ment (2012-2013) on Top TV with rap­per AKA be­fore mov­ing over to BET (DStv chan­nel 129) and join­ing singer Nandi Mngoma on celebrity show­biz pro­gramme The A List (2016- cur­rent).

“It [2016] was a great year for my brand. It was busy and ex­cit­ing as I got to tap into act­ing and fash­ion,” ex­plains Ayanda. She played ex­otic dancer Aaliyah on sea­son 4 of drama series Rockville (2013- cur­rent) on Mzansi Magic (*161) and also de­signed a sum­mer fash­ion col­lec­tion for Le­git. Her busy year got a nod of ap­proval as she was awarded the Hottest Chick gong at the 2016 Feather Awards. “I love that South Africans are notic­ing me and I can’t wait to tell their in­spira- tional sto­ries on Top Billing,” laughs the young pre­sen­ter.


Un­like some of her co-pre­sen­ters at Top Billing, Ayanda didn’t have to wait in a long line to au­di­tion dur­ing a pre­sen­ter search. She got a call from the pro­duc­tion crew for a quick in­ter­view and au­di­tion and “a lit­tle while later they made me an of­fer”. Ayanda adds that “I phoned my mom, who’s my best friend, and we were thrilled – ac­tu­ally, we still are [Laughs]. It’s an ex­cit­ing plat­form to branch out my tele­vi­sion ca­reer and I’m pre­pared”.

She’s most stoked about the idea of trav­el­ling the world and rub­bing shoul­ders with other celebri­ties from around the globe. And even though she’ll be out and about quite a bit, Ayanda re­veals that she loves noth­ing more than a quiet day catch­ing up on her favourite sit­coms. “I could spend the whole day in py­ja­mas. When I have time to my­self, which hardly ever hap­pens, I catch up on my faves, Friends [1994-2004] and The Big Bang The­ory [2007- cur­rent].”


The self-pro­claimed “ed­u­cated model” be­lieves that her school­ing helps her strate­gise and pre­pare for big ca­reer moves, “but there’s an el­e­ment of God in all this,” she says. “I think there’s higher power guid­ing me and my ca­reer moves.” Her moves aren’t re­stricted to the smallscreen and fash­ion only but also ex­tend to the world of beauty – Ayanda has just opened her own up­mar­ket hair sa­lon, Liyanda, in Mel­rose Arch in Joburg. “The store rep­re­sents my per­son­al­ity,” she ex­plains. “It’s stylish, edgy and filled with beauty [Laughs]. I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for hair and thought it would be a great idea to put my name and brand be­hind a store.” She adds that “I want to leave a legacy. Peo­ple should think of Ayanda Thabethe when they think of Top Billing [laughs]. I can’t wait to in­spire and touch lives on this amaz­ing show.”

Meet the next bright star join­ing Top Billing – Ayanda Thabethe.

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