‘I NEVER WANT TO RAISE MY CHIL­DREN IN AN UN­HAPPY HOME’

Uzalo’s Baby Cele on moth­er­hood, find­ing love again and putting her kids first

Move! - - FRONT PAGE - By Bonolo Sekudu

I AM HAPPY THAT SHE IS GET­TING AHEAD IN HER CA­REER

MOST of ac­tress Baby Cele’s time is spent check­ing in and out of OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port and King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port, rush­ing to TV sets and most im­por­tantly, spend­ing time with her fam­ily. The 46-year-old mother of two got mar­ried in Septem­ber last year and says even though most her time is spent in the sky, it is all worth it. Her hus­band and daugh­ter live in Jo­han­nes­burg, so when she is not spend­ing time with them or on set in Durban, she spends time with her eight-year-old son at the beach or just hav­ing lunch.

BABY'S PRIDE AND JOY

Yolisa (19) and Thando (8) have the plea­sure of call­ing Baby, mom. Yolisa is in ma­tric and goes to a board­ing school but when she is home, she spends time with her step-fa­ther in their home in the south of Joburg. She says when her mother told her about mov­ing to Durban to ac­com­mo­date her new role on the SABC1 drama se­ries, Uzalo, she was happy for her.

“I am happy that she is get­ting ahead in her ca­reer. Be­cause I go to a board­ing school, I think I have got­ten used to be­ing with­out her,” says Yolisa.

Well, the op­po­site is true for Thando. He says, “I can’t be with­out my mom, no!” Ex­cited to be on the beach when­ever he feels like it, Thando is happy about the move to Durban.

HAV­ING A CELEBRITY MOM

Hav­ing a celebrity mother has perks but it is some­times too much for Baby’s chil­dren.

“Peo­ple some­times stop her when we are go­ing some­where and I get frus­trated be­cause we can’t do what I have asked her to do. We get de­layed some­times be­cause of this,” ex­plains Thando.

But he says if they are not in a rush, he doesn’t mind at all, adding that it is nice to see his mother on TV. Yolisa is a spit­ting image of her mother. She says when she was younger, she would cry when peo­ple were all over her mother and that at times the love from fans be­came too much.

Yolisa is now at an age where she needs to de­cide what ca­reer path she wants to take. She has made TV ap­pear­ances on Mzansi Magic drama se­ries, Isithem­biso, but un­like her mother, her love for

the lime­light falls on the fash­ion side. Yolisa says, “I love fash­ion de­sign, that is what I want to study next year. I want to be my own per­son and not just known as Baby’s daugh­ter.”

This is a de­ci­sion her mother fully sup­ports, espe­cially as they are best friends and share al­most ev­ery­thing. “My mom gets bored in Durban and calls me non-stop to talk about any­thing and ev­ery­thing,” Yolisa says.

BE­ING CON­TENT

Baby has been in the in­dus­try for over 20 years but she has man­aged to keep her pri­vate life out of the spot­light. Yolisa ad­mires this about her mother and the fact that although she is fa­mous, she still main­tains her peace and keeps fo­cus­ing on the work. Baby says, “I re­ally don’t know how I have done it. It was never planned, but I guess it is just the per­son I am by na­ture. I like my space.”

When she is not at work, Baby spends most of her time at the gym or in the kitchen. She says she had her fair share of fun when she was younger and she has now reached a ma­ture stage of con­tent­ment.

“I have so much peace in me. I am happy and ful­filled. I am doing ev­ery­thing that I love. I have never been hap­pier,” says Baby.

NEVER COM­PRO­MISE YOUR HAP­PI­NESS

The glow on her face shows that Baby pri­ori­tises her hap­pi­ness. “I can­not, not be happy in my life, never! When it comes to hap­pi­ness, I don’t play that game. I have di­vorced twice be­fore be­cause I was un­happy and I was not about to raise my chil­dren in un­happy en­vi­ron­ments,” says Baby.

Yolisa says her mother and step-fa­ther are so head over heels in love, it is some­times too much. Yolisa says, “My mom is like a teenager in love when she is with her hus­band. It is so strange to see her like this be­cause she was sin­gle for a long time but I am glad that she has found some­one to love and some­one who loves her back.”

Baby is not shocked to hear her daugh­ter say this as Yolisa has con­fronted her about be­ing smit­ten be­fore. “This one time, she told me that I was so loud gig­gling with my hus­band while they were sleep­ing. But that’s just how my hus­band and I are;

MY MOM IS LIKE A TEENAGER IN LOVE WHEN SHE IS WITH HER HUS­BAND

I AM AT PEACE WITH MY LIFE RIGHT NOW

we are al­ways play­ful around each other,” says Baby with a laugh.

PEACE AND ALIGN­MENT

Baby moved from Durban to Joburg in 1986 to pur­sue her ca­reer in act­ing, but the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city can eas­ily make one lose their peace of mind. “In Joburg, you are con­stantly think­ing and doing some­thing. You never find time to be on your own and in your own thoughts,” she says.

Be­ing back in Durban, Umhlanga, close to the sea­side, has brought about a level of con­tent­ment.

“My thoughts are aligned. I am at peace with my life right now but, of course, I miss my hus­band and this is why I am al­ways trav­el­ling to and from Joburg,” she adds.

EM­BRAC­ING CHANGE

Eight years ago, Baby made a de­ci­sion to wear a nat­u­ral crown and started grow­ing her dread­locks. But re­cently, she de­cided to cut off the long dread­locks she had worked so hard to grow. Baby had been think­ing about mak­ing a change to her ap­pear­ance and her hair was a good start.

One day, while up­stairs in the bath­room of their home, she took a pair of scis­sors and started chop­ping off the dreads. But be­cause her hus­band loved them so much, she de­cided to do it with­out telling him.

“I called him from down­stairs and he was shocked to see me, but I just wanted to do it and em­brace change,” she says.

Her char­ac­ter on Uzalo, Gabisile, had an in­flu­ence on this de­ci­sion.

Baby says, “Gabisile is so hy­per and she wears weaves and make-up. On set, I used to sweat so much be­cause I had to wear a wig over my dread­locks, plus Durban is so hot. It was just too much for me.”

She is re­ally ex­cited about this new role on Uzalo be­cause it is not what she is used to play­ing. “Play­ing the role of Gabisile re­ally chal­lenges me. She re­ally makes me work so hard and run around a lot,” she ex­plains.

Baby Cele is en­joy­ing her role as a wife, mom and ac­tress on Uzalo

Yolisa and Thando are Baby's pride and joy. She works hard to en­sure that they have a good life

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