SHE’S been busy as a bee, broadening her horizons beyond our borders and building her empire across the world. When she’s not rubbing shoulders with Trevor Noah she’s strutting along the streets of New York City, dressed to the nines as if she’s in a scene from Sex and the City.
Bonang Matheba has been bombarding her social media followers with envy-inducing pictures while living it up in the Big Apple – and now we know why.
The 31-year-old – already a household name in South Africa – wants to become a Queen B abroad too.
Bonang is making moves to relocate somewhat permanently to fulfil that dream. From June the Mahikeng-born presenter will be based in New York. “I started house-hunting last year and I haven’t found what I’m looking for,” she tells DRUM.
“I viewed four apartments that cost $30 million (R434 million), but I still need to view more and decide on the perfect home for me.”
Known for her extravagant taste, Bonang has her eye on settling in Soho, Manhattan – an area that has housed stars such as John Legend and Samuel L Jackson.
“Go big or go home right?” she says with a laugh about the posh neighbourhood she’s set her sights on.
She wants to live near the offices of Red Button Films, the New York-based film and production company that’s helping her make her new reality show.
“I’m very excited about it,” she says. “We’ve started shooting and are working on a title and where we’d like for it to air. We’re going bigger and international.”
Unlike her Mzansi Magic reality show, Being Bonang, her upcoming show will delve more into her business deals while also giving fans insight into how she juggles house-hunting and shopping, along with celebrity interviews and running her various businesses.
And just because she’s taking a bite out of the Big Apple, it doesn’t mean she’s forgetting about Mzansi.
“I’ll continue taking work at home and across the country, but I’ll be based in New York,” Bonang says.
Still, she has to give up some things. “I’ll miss the African food, the South African culture and various languages. But no matter how far my career stretches, I will always be the South African kasi girl.”
And there’s no chance Moghel will lose her South African flavour.
“I’ll always stay true to who I am – I will never lose my accent,” she says. “People love me the way I am. My voice and tone are what has earned me international recognition.”
BONANG has always been a star on the small screen thanks to her various presenting gigs. Now she’s branching out into documentary film-making and her first offering, Public Figure, recently premiered at the Manchester Film Festival in the UK to rave reviews.
She starred in and produced the documentary film that follows the lives of social-media influencers from around the globe. It touches on how they make money and looks at the effect social-network addiction has on our lives.
And later this year she’ll also feature alongside Gayle King, Usher and Pharrell Williams for a National Geographic series highlighting global efforts to change the lives of people living in extreme poverty.
But it’s not just her professional life that’s blossoming. Bonang sent fans into a frenzy earlier this year when she posted a picture of a blue diamond sparkler on her left hand.
Was she engaged, the BForce wondered – and who was the lucky man? Her lips are still firmly sealed, but Bonang confirms she’s in a happy relationship.
“There is someone very special to me who makes me very happy and keeps me motivated,” she says. “My love life is healthy and at a really great place.”
Her social-media pages have been peppered with pictures of long-stemmed roses and gifts from her mystery man.
Although she won’t reveal his name, she is willing to say her new guy understands the showbiz industry and is supportive of her dreams.
She’ll choose a moment when she’s ready, Bonang says about when she’ll tell the world who he is.
“For now people just need to know I am taken. I’m no longer single and I’m at a very happy and comfortable place in my relationship.”
She’s lived through several public breakups and this time she wants to do things differently. “I’ve gone through a lot of public humiliation and scrutiny when it comes to love and romance. I just want to keep this one to myself for now.
“People will know when the time is right.”
All that people need to know is he has her back. “He’s there for me on my bad days and good days.”
It’s hard to imagine she has bad days, but beneath the fame and fortune is a person like the rest of us.
“I’m only human,” Bonang says. “When I feel down, I confide in the people closest to me,” she says. “I make sure I take care of myself. When I hit rock bottom I close myself up at home, pray, light a candle, and speaking to my mom always brings me back to life.
“But now, life is great.”
SHE’S fizzing with excitement – and it’s not just because of her new man. Bonang, who recently returned from a three-week stint in New York, has launched her own brand of sparkling wine. It’s made in the same way as French
Champagne but only wine made with grapes from that region can legally be called Champagne.
“In South Africa, we use the term méthode cap classique or MCC,” she says.
“I coined the term ‘Champagne, darling’. So why not give the people my own brand?” she says of House of BNG.
Her bubbly dream is a long time in the making. Last year Bonang teased fans into thinking she’d bought a vineyard when she posted a picture of herself at a wine farm in Stellenbosch.
“Girls with vineyards,” she captioned the snap.
It was all a build-up to launching her own sparkling wine, she says.
It took 10 months to create a brut and rosé alongside Jeff Grier, one of the top MCC makers in the country.
The hands-on star was involved in selecting the right kind of grapes and blends to make sparkling wine that best represents her bubbly personality.
“Everyone knows I’m the champagne queen and that it makes me happy. I wanted to share that with people all over the world. I’ve given my heart and soul in a bottle,” she says.
“The rosé is blush pink and not too harsh on the palate. The brut is dry and light. And the overall branding is classy and sophisticated – like Queen B.”
It’s anyone’s guess if her man will be moving to New York with her, but we can be certain they’ll have plenty to celebrate – and with endless bottles of bubbly.