CORONAVIRUS sure has changed her in many ways. She’s now become an exerciseloving,tea-drinking, TV-watching woman – all thanks to the national lockdown. But there’s one thing about Zodwa Wabantu fans know and love that remains: her love of showing off her body.
The 34-year-old has been keeping her followers entertained – and getting fit while doing it – by showing off videos of herself jogging around her yard in her underwear or in a bikini.
Even a break-in and some tension between her and her bae, Vusi Buthelezi (24), haven’t killed her spirits.
She simply cries, then moves on, she tells DRUM.
Zodwa tells us she’s been making the most of being forced to stay home. “Before the lockdown, I did not like gym. Well, now I have the time for it,” she says.
She has equipment in her home in Malvern, Durban, that she wasn’t using. Now her treadmill, bicycle, maxi climber and some dumb-bells have been put to good use. “I am into it now because I am bored,” she says.
“I would always wake up drunk or too tired after a night of partying. Now I am sober. I have time and I love it.”
For 45 minutes on most weekdays, Zodwa indulges in her new hobby.
Her new favourite quarantine partner is undoubtedly her four-month-old dog, Prince. Her pet has become part of her daily routine. “I wake up, make tea, jog and I feed my dog,” Zodwa says.
She also sleeps a lot. But when awake she’s on her couch watching TV. “I watch everything, which is something
I never get time to do. From cartoons to Uyajola 9/9,” she says.
Although she’s one of the few who still has a comfortable stash of booze, she hasn’t been drinking the way she usually does. Instead tea has become her favourite beverage, made with lots of Cremora.
Her new daily routine, however, was horribly disrupted when thieves broke into her home last month and took items worth more than R100 000. They stole her laptop, clothes, perfume bottles and various other valuables.
She’s working through it, she says. “I cry a lot in my house. That is how I deal with things.”
Zodwa has been sharing her emotional turmoil with fans. Not just because of the burglary, but because the time at home has called for a lot of introspection.
In a video she posted on social media, the socialite was crying as she poured her heart out as she encouraged others going through a tough time to chin-up.
“I will pick myself up and things will be alright,” came her tearful message. “No one should feel anyhow, this is life. Things get real. Just appreciate your life.
“Know that whatever you are going through, was given to you for a reason. Love yourself and have the spirit to start over, do more and work hard.”
SHE’S had a lot of time to look deeper into herself during the lockdown, Zodwa says. “I feel like I am in box when home.” When she’s working, Zodwa spends her time on the road, travelling and entertaining people.
The idea of staying home was very challenging for the extrovert, but it has made her think about how to navigate life and love herself better. “I have given so much of me. I’m tired and I just want to be me. Sometimes you give people money and, really, I feel used. I am focusing on me.”
And she’s got a bit more space to focus on herself after Vusi left. They had been in lockdown together initially but it didn’t last.
After the break-in, Zodwa says things were a tad tense between the couple, who have been together for a few months.
“Things were not working out,” she says. “He left yesterday but I’ve learnt that you must allow people to leave. You accept things as they come and as they are and allow people to be themselves.”
Zodwa says they are healing from what happened and dealing with it in their own ways.
To keep herself busy, she tried to cook but it did not turn out well. “I hate cooking,” she admits. “I cooked samp – it was on the stove for hours and I forgot to season it. It was a mess. I had to throw it away and I felt bad because there are people starving during these tough times.”
As soon as lockdown restrictions were eased to level 4 and some businesses re-opened, Zodwa rushed to her favourite shisa nyama in Durban where she got dumplings and chicken feet.
She’s unfazed by the Instagram-worthy food that’s been flooding timelines since the lockdown.
“There is no time for being extravagant or for celebrity life. All of us are going through the most. Right now, what matters is having enough food and that’s it. It’s all about buying what you really need. With a simple life, you won’t go wrong.
“Home should be home, be comfortable and all the things you need should already be in your house. Why would you be buying stuff that’s not important now?”
ZODWA is itching to get back to life without the lockdown. She’s got a lot of plans in the pipeline but in the meantime she’s keeping up with her various businesses. “I’m busy with plans for a cosmetic range, your nail polish, mascara, body shimmer, which have been halted due to Covid-19,” she shares proudly.
She’s also done collaborations and is still working on more so when lockdown ends, she hits the ground running. “I am going to be all over, I’m going to be fully booked,” she says.
“I am going to close big deals – and I am talking millions.”
This time has also given her the opportunity to look back at the hard work she’s put into becoming who she is.
“I had nothing. Today I am here because I have made it about investing in my brand and growing my money.
“I have not made it, the vision is still growing. Every time I make money, I put it back into the business,” Zodwa says.
She is grateful for where she is, no matter the challenges. “I am glad I don’t have to sleep with men for food.”
And although she knows it’s tough for most South Africans right now, Zodwa wants people to keep going.
“For now, take care of yourself and stay home,” she says. “And if you can help others stay afloat during this time, do so. Help one another. We have friends who have nothing. Give them money. Most importantly, give back and keep quiet about it.”
‘For now, take care of yourself and stay home’