FULL TEXT: Bonang Matheba reveals her secrets about dating famous men, being betrayed and her heartbreaks

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Below are some of the life lessons that have kept Bonang Matheba sane and a few she’s yet to master. We hope you walk away inspired!

ON SOCIAL MEDIA…
In the past few years, I’ve learnt that social media has totally changed the world and is now just as important as TV, radio and newspapers. People’s voices are all of a sudden very important and hard to ignore. People are becoming entrepreneurs and influencing pop culture more directly now. Social media plays a big role in my brand strategy and how I communicate with my fans, both here at home and around the world. Where social media is concerned, my approach is simple — if what I’m writing on social media were to be said on radio, would I still say the same thing? Would people respond? Would they think I’m a bully? Would I be putting myself in a position that could ultimately damage my brand and my income? It’s important to remember social media is a representation and an expansion of you.

MANAGING MY ANGER…
Anger is something I choose to keep to myself because I find that dealing with it is a long process. Anger is a negative energy, and often comes with a negative emotion. I’m a big believer in spirit and energy laws — what you put out there is what you receive. In short, when you’re angry, you invite more anger into your life. You can choose to be angry or to react differently.

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BEING SUCCESSFUL…
My definition of success is waking up every morning and getting to do what I love. No-one forces me to do anything. I genuinely look forward to going to work. I’ve learnt money and material possessions should never be used as the only measures of success. As I grow older, I find more meaning in how I feel and my spiritual growth.

MAKING MONEY…
I was taught to respect money from a very young age. All that money does is give you access. Money shouldn’t change who you are and how you treat others, nor should it change how you communicate with people. I’ve seen its power — I’ve seen the places it can get me to and the tables it’s allowed me to sit at. I’ve seen the things it’s allowed me to have. At the same time, I’ve seen how it can change and engulf people. When used properly, it can make your life and of those close to you better. I love the process of creating money. It’s inspiring. And yes, I love spending it too [chuckles]!

THE FIRST LESSON I LEARNT…
My mother is business-minded so she’s been fastidious about teaching me how to save money. I remember getting my first salary at 16. I literally thought I’d won the jackpot, and wanted to splurge on shopping. My mother’s response was a stern, “No! That’s not going to happen to my child. This TV industry of yours is unstable. You’re famous today and can be gone tomorrow.” She thought being in the entertainment industry was a phase that would last for five years.

BRAND COLLABORATIONS…
Whether it’s Revlon, Top Billing, Brutal Fruit, Cîroc, Woolworths or Courvoisier, what I’ve learnt in my career is the importance of maintaining, sustaining and respecting relationships because that’s where my longevity is. If I’m good to them, my professional relationship with them is guaranteed to grow. The entertainment industry’s so small, especially here in South Africa, so it’s important to respect people. Never burn your bridges, with anyone, because that one person you were rude to today could be the CEO of a company you want to work with tomorrow.

DATING FAMOUS…
It’s difficult and it takes a lot of patience. It’s not just the two of you in that relationship but the prying eyes of fans and the public at large. I’ve learnt the trick is not to pay too much attention to what the person does for a living — fall in love with the human being.

ON HEARTBREAK…
No one’s immune to heartbreak. You can be a superstar, have all the money in the world and grace the cover of True Love but your heart will be broken. That’s my life lesson [chuckles]! How you react to heartbreak builds your character and will strengthen you. You reach rock bottom and it forces you to get up and pull yourself together. Think about it — wouldn’t we be empowered and fearless if we dealt with heartbreak the same way we do with not getting the job we’d applied for or the deal we’d been promised? Heartbreak’s about overcoming and learning to move on. You have to feel it and allow yourself to go through the motion. Simply say: “Yes, go ne go le botlhoko” (it hurt so bad) and choose to be happy again.

FORGIVING BETRAYAL…
Betrayal will always be committed by the people closest to us simply because they’re often the last people we’ll suspect. Just like heartbreak, no one’s immune. Again, choose who you become when it happens. The quicker you get over it, the quicker your life moves on. Love… It’s the foundation of my life, the basis of my spirit and the reason why I live! It’s the base from which all my decisions are made. I love falling in love and most importantly, I love myself. Love may have its ups and downs but boy, does it make the world go round! On sustaining relationships… Always ensure your intentions are good, be honest and communicate effectively. What men have taught me is I need to be very simple but very descriptive in how I communicate my desires. We women always expect our partners to be telepathic, yet the key is in clearly communicating what you want, when you want and exactly how you want it. I’ve also learnt to love wholeheartedly and make peace with getting hurt — for anything’s possible where matters of the heart are concerned.


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