The Star Late Edition

Relebogile unpacks taboo issues

- MPILETSO MOTUMI Relebogile Mabotja airs weekdays at 5pm on S3.

RELEBOGILE Mabotja is back on television screens with a show that packs a punch.

The award-winning media personalit­y and businesswo­man is tackling taboo topics on the new S3 (formerly SABC 3) talk show Unpacked with Relebogile Mabotja.

“I missed those old Oprah interviews where you get sucked into an ordinary person’s extraordin­ary story. I feel like in my personal life and how it has served in my broadcasti­ng career, I’ve reached the point where I’m comfortabl­e enough with myself to ask uncomforta­ble questions.

“I thought to myself, this is a good time to go back to a style of talk that we aren’t really familiar with at the moment,” she said.

The show aims to push the envelope, with thought-provoking conversati­ons. In the season premiere yesterday, actress and presenter Mari Molefe van Heerdan, a young black woman who identifies as white person, started the talk show on an interestin­g note as she and Mabotja explored transracia­l adoption and identity.

Mabotja promises that the show will continue to spark debate.

“We speak to two different transgende­r women. What was quite an interestin­g takeaway for me, with the LGBTIQ+ community getting clumped as a whole, even within the community, individual­s have completely different stories. They also disagree with the political element of their sexual identity and whether people should be asked if they are transgende­r or not.”

In another episode, four men who have all been raped come together to talk about their experience­s.

“We know how taboo a discussion that is and we get to have a discussion around the circumstan­ces that make it taboo and also the culture around men being victims of rape. The fact that they were willing to come on screen and have that conversati­on publicly, these are the types of conversati­ons I hope are going to start conversati­ons.”

Mabotja said she has learnt from shooting the episodes with the guests.

“We shot the show unscripted. Usually, when we interview someone, you have a research pack and you make sure that you get all the informatio­n. The approach here was different. I wanted to be the curious mind and the viewer at home without coming in with a preconceiv­ed idea of where the conversati­on is going to go. That’s why there were some conversati­ons that hit home.”

This isn’t the only new journey Mabotja has taken on, she is also an expectant mother who has been sharing her journey on social media.

“Pregnancy has been happening forever, but it’s unique for everybody. You can hear a million versions of pregnancie­s. It’s such a personal experience. With my journey, I have had a great support system with women who have just recently given birth and were pregnant with me at the same time.”

Mabotja suffered from fibroids and has been openly sharing her pregnancy journey.

“So many women have asked me how I get pregnant with fibroids and tell me that they didn’t know it could happen. It’s almost like I’ve been reintroduc­ed to myself. The whole concept of creating life and bringing life to this Earth is a deeply special experience, and that’s why many women say ‘I have no words’.

“What I do know is that my capacity has been increased for everything. For pain, love, patience, I am surprising myself.”

Mabotja added that the pregnancy had also shifted the relationsh­ip she has with her family.

“It’s been such a beautiful journey. I see my mother in a new light now.”

For her new talk show, Mabotja will also have an extended uncensored version on YouTube after the show.

Unpacked with

 ??  ?? RELEBOGILE Mabotja is asking uncomforta­ble questions in new talk show on S3. The show is unscripted, which sees various conversati­ons hit home.
RELEBOGILE Mabotja is asking uncomforta­ble questions in new talk show on S3. The show is unscripted, which sees various conversati­ons hit home.

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