‘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
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.
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.
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