TV presenter, Andile Gaelisiwe, 43, is in a good space and even plans on returning to her music this year. Soweto-born Andile is in a great frame of mind these days. When we meet, it’s evident she’s been busy working on her body too!

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On losing weight

I decided in December 2015 that I wanted to look and feel sexy. I wanted to go to the beach and be confident in a bikini without covering up. I don’t know how much I’ve shed off as I’ve never weighed myself. But, I got my sister to take before pictures and now I see the drastic change. For me it wasn’t about losing the weight but being healthier and comfortable.

On Love

To add to her great outlook, the muso-cum-presenter also confirms that she’s in love with Muvhango actor, Leslie Musina. Living her current mantra of self-love, Andile says all of this didn’t come easy. It was a journey. “Over time I learnt to like myself and appreciate my body. I changed that inner voice to a positive one. Now I love everything about my myself. I realise that self love and being comfortable in your own skin is the most important thing before being a wife, girlfriend or even a friend.” In the early years of her career, Andile disclosed how she was abused as a child, which she says influenced her decision to not have children. But the

On kids

“I struggled with the idea of having kids of my own. I feared they too would experience what I did.”

On her career

Not new in the scene, Andile’s journey to stardom dates back to 1995 when she broke onto the music industry with her hit song Abuti Yo and, over two decades later, the track remains a favourite throwback for many. Much like her hit song, she maintains prominence within the entertainment industry, having hosted 12 seasons of Khumbul’ekhaya, the SABC 1 reality show, which has a viewership of over two million.

Prior to this, she was on YFM and, later, the MTV Base’s sexual health talk show, Uncensored. Her non-profit organisation, the Open Disclosure Foundation, which assists young sexual abuse survivors and gets young addicts into rehab, now has two offices in Pretoria and Soweto, and employs 32 staff. She’s also part of the Sakhisizwe programme, which is a celebrity initiative to address drug abuse within communities. As if her plate isn’t already full enough, she  recently ventured into radio and can be heard on Power FM from time to time.  A social entrepreneur at heart, the TV presenter, scriptwriter,

Andile says, “I’m actually quite aware of my celebrity influence and make sure that most of what I do is aligned with helping others. “I’ve been approached by other shows but Khumbu [her pet name for Khumbul’ekhaya] is my passion because it’s a simple recipe yet has such an impact lives and has inspired other docu-series.” Andile who’s embraced her years says, “The older you become the more wisdom you gather. I’m no longer in the habit of hoarding and wanting attention. My biggest fear, however, is having the founder’s syndrome where you don’t ever want to let go and always want to be at the forefront.”

On Khumbul’ekhaya

After all these seasons, Andile says Khumbul’ekhaya is still emotionally heavy on her, although she’s now more mentally mature. “At first, the stories broke my heart and was always crying but that hardly happens now because I’ve learnt that I also need to exhale. At first, I’d feel irritable and sad. I just wanted to be left alone.”

That time she was also heavily involved with her Open Disclosure Foundation and was carrying a lot of emotional baggage, until she sought professional help – a therapist. “We all need someone to speak to. I come from a crazy background of rape, so being in the music industry was stressful.”

On music

This year, the eldest of three children plans to go back to music after an eight year break. She says she’s confident in what she wants to do now.  The presenter has also gone back to completing her life coach course by renowned American speaker, Louis Hay.  “I’ve been in a media hiatus for a few years now. I’m back, watch out for me,” she boasts with an endearing smile.