We were first introduced to her on Instagram and later got a glimpse into her life as Royal AM (football club) chairperson, Andile Mpisane’s baby mama.
Sithole Shozi is now no stranger to many as she has worked her way to our TV screens in a new international show called The Masked Singer.
Kicking off the interview with Drum, she says it feels surreal to have been a part of a production of that magnitude.
“Not that I have never imagined myself in the space, but I just think I hadn’t planned or thought of it in my head for something that could happen right now. It still kind of feels like an out-of-body experience but it’s also just so phenomenal, it’s a really beautiful journey and I could never take any of this for granted.”
As she sums it up with an “I’m grateful”, she takes us back to where the journey started.
When she received a casual call from Anele Mdoda who owns Rose and Oaks, the production company behind the show, she had just returned from Turkey where she went under the knife and was in recovery.
The essence of the call and a few other calls that she received from her as weeks went by were merely to get her to watch UK’s version of The Masked Singer.
Although she did not know why she had to keep watching the show, she continued to enjoy it until one day when she was told that the show is coming to South Africa, and she will be one of the detectives.
Given Anele’s comedic nature and casual demeanor, Sithelo did not take it seriously.
When she realised how serious it was getting, she asked herself, “Why did she think of me? I have never been on TV.”
Anele has since answered this question at the show’s press conference, making Sithelo emotional.
“She spoke of how a lot of people speak about opening the industry to new talent and that never really materializes. She said that she had been following me on social media for like four years and just watching how I move, what I say, what I put out, how I speak my truth and how I’m so bold about whatever it is I’m doing. She says that’s what she wanted and that she saw herself in me when she was my age and she’d like for me to grow as much as she’s grown in the industry.”
Sharing that it may be the first time she graces our screens but definitely not the last, she says that she is glad she opened the TV door with people that made her feel like family and made the production fun.
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“They’ve made me so comfortable, they have taken away the fears that I had in my head. They’ve welcomed me to this production.”
For the better part of it, she says, “I had so much fun that I don’t even remember shooting it and that’s what I love about it because nothing is scripted.”
When it was announced that she would be joining Somizi Mhlongo, J Something and Skhumba Hlophe as the only female detective in the show, what was used to bring her down on social media, made her shine.
Being referred to as ‘mother of three’ in her twenties was not meant kindly.
Instead of being ashamed as intended, the 29-year-old took pride in it.
“That is the best role that I hold – being a mother, so you can never shame me on that. I’m probably yet to have more children so the countdown is on. I love being a mom [and] that’s something I can never look down upon. I embrace my kids and other people’s kids.”
She adds that if given the chance, she would give up everything to be a mom.
Another slur thrown her way has been of what she does for a living and although she usually meets all this with a degree of silence on social media, she breaks that silence to Drum.
“I do whatever it takes. I can never box myself; I’d never say I’m an influencer; I am influential. I am in the music industry; I’m not going to say I am a DJ because I also make music.”
While she chases what she says are “crazy aspirations” in her career, Sithelo has not placed academics in the backseat. She holds a qualification in politics from Howard college at the University of KwaZulu Natal and has a diploma in arts and music. The mother of three will not be ending there as she intends to go back to school next year for an honour’s degree.
Even as drama involving her kids and the Mpisane family unfolded in the public eye, she remained unshaken.
“I simply made a conscious decision that for me to deal with it is to not deal with it at all. I don’t even dream of the day that I explain myself on social media. I know my truth and God just has a way of having the truth come out there and fixing things when you’re quiet.”
She believes that “silence can’t be misquoted” and that’s why she uses it as a weapon.