The Star Late Edition
Relebogile unpacks taboo issues
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.