Real Talk with Queen B!

South African celebrity Bonang Matheba shares six insights about success


Bonang Matheba shares here journey to success with young woman at Alexandra theatre. Photo: Sibongile Machika

The Queen of everything, Bonang Matheba, was a huge drawcard at the Nedbank Talk for Success at the Alexandra Theatre last night. Over 100 young women packed the theatre to hear what radio host, TV presenter and Revlon brand ambassador had to say about her road to success.

From her simple beginnings in Mafikeng and Hillbrow, to becoming a Stuyvesant promo girl in clubs, and finally being South Africa’s favourite” it girl”, these are the lessons she’s learned along the way.

1. Bottle your uniqueness and sell it.

“To make yourself stand out, you must find something that is unique about you that you can bottle and sell.”

2. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

“Every single thing I have done I have planned for.”

Having been rejected several times for jobs at YFM, Metro FM and even Top Billing, Matheba has learned that when you have a plan life’s little hiccups can’t keep you down.

Every time she was rejected she would tell herself “O ho abang kitse ba (these ones don’t know me), I’m going to be on Top Billing”.

3. ‘Overnight’ success takes 2-4 years

Matheba said we live in world where everyone wants ‘instant’ everything. “No one puts in the work anymore.”

When you work for your money, you don’t have to ask for anything, you and have to thank anyone for “helping you out”.

Hard work makes is fulfilling. You get to say ”Chomi, I was at the promotion for nine hours selling cigarettes ko kong, mara ke rekile di louboutin”, she said while flicking her heel to show off her red bottoms.


The Nedbank igniters: Bonang Matheba, Zoey Brown and Ciko Thomas. Photo: Sibongile Machika.

The Nedbank igniters: Bonang Matheba, Zoey Brown and Ciko Thomas. Photo: Sibongile Machika.

4. The world doesn’t owe you anything.

“Success is your responsibility. Entitlement is a delusion of grandeur.”

5. Believe you are worth it.

The Secret principle says:  think it, write it down, say it out loud and if possible try to experience what it would feel like to achieve it.

6. Break down the barriers.

“You can be whatever you want, whatever! I’m living proof.”  From Hillbrow to Top Billing, the biggest barrier is your mind. So change your mind set.

First published by Wits Vuvuzela 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s