Soldier­ing through hate

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - AMANDA MAL­IBA

OUR Per­fect Wed­ding’s new host, Vele Ma­nenje, is hold­ing her head high in the face of hate mail from some view­ers.

The trend of trolling pre­sen­ters saw a num­ber of her pre­de­ces­sors ditch­ing the Mzansi Magic show, such as singer Aya Mpama, who bowed out after host­ing only 13 episodes. But Ma­nenje says she is here to do her job the best way she knows how and is not in­ter­ested in im­press­ing any­one.

“I am off so­cial me­dia be­cause I do not want to be thrown off by the com­ments that are bound to come. For now I don’t want to in­volve my­self in those types of talks but just do my best.

“Hav­ing worked in a cou­ple of places where peo­ple put you on so­cial me­dia and push their own agen­das re­gard­ing you, those ex­pe­ri­ences have helped me de­velop a croc­o­dile skin.

“I know that this is a big show, but hav­ing seen what the OPW fans can do to all the show’s pre­sen­ters, I know what I have got my­self into.

“Every­body went through it, I just have to soldier on and do my best,” says the 30-year-old ac­tress.

Ma­nenje’s de­sire to host the show goes back a long way and fi­nally be­ing on the show is a dream come true.

“I was part of the pre­sen­ter search and un­for­tu­nately I had to bow out of the show due to my com­mit­ment with my other pas­sion, act­ing. I had to go back to the Ring Of Lies set, but by the grace of God, the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self again.”

The Na­tional School of the Arts grad­u­ate has worked in the in­dus­try for many years, and has fea­tured on shows such as SABC 1’s Than­deka’s

Di­ary, A place Called Home and SABC 2’s Mamello, and is cur­rently on the pop­u­lar SABC2 se­ries Mu­vhango.

Her favourite part about OPW is see­ing cou­ples fi­nally get­ting mar­ried after the tur­moil and stresses that come with plan­ning such big days.

“Love al­ways wins and it is so ex­cit­ing to get to be part of so many love sto­ries,” she says.

Ma­nenje adds that her mis­sion is one that seeks to break all stereo­types of what beauty is.

“Num­ber one, it is not easy to be plus sized and get on TV. You al­ways have peo­ple who are pok­ing at you and there­fore don’t get equal chances most of the time. So with my en­tire jour­ney, I want to look back and cel­e­brate my God-given tal­ent while also cel­e­brat­ing be­ing one of those peo­ple who broke the bound­aries.

“Be the girl who ac­tu­ally does make it and be­come that ex­am­ple that any­thing is pos­si­ble. For­get your weight, skin tone or what­ever. You can do it.”


VELE Ma­nenje’s dream of pre­sent­ing ‘Our Per­fect Wed­ding’ came true.

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