AS the year comes to an end, Uzalo’s leading actress, Dawn Thandeka King, describes 2018 as a year of many firsts and a year that had many happy returns for her.
“It’s been a beautiful year,” she gushes adding that, “This year I learnt to cut myself some slack and appreciated the good as well as the bad.” The 41-year-old woman who has been impregnated five times so far has this glow on her face to prove what a fruitful year 2018 has been.
Like everyone, she had her fair share of ups and downs but she is grateful to be alive and share in the triumphs of this year. It is evident that Dawn has a wonderful support system and that is besides her children and husband, who always receive public attention. Her mother, Thabile, and sister, Vuyiswa, hold a special place and have always been there for her through thick and thin. But today isn’t much about the gloom but a celebration of the happiness and good memories they have shared as a family throughout the years.
Thabile had Dawn when she was still young, causing the Lockdown actress to be raised by her grandparents in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, while her mother furthered her studies. She later moved to Mthatha, Eastern Cape, with her mother and younger sister, Vuyiswa. Dawn says she has always been close to her mother and sister. Although in her 40s, you can tell where Dawn gets her good looks
– her mom doesn’t look a day older than her age and that is why Dawn says people often mistake her mom for her elder sister. “My mom has a good body and has always looked younger than she really is. I remember in our first year in Mthatha, while walking in the streets, a group of young boys were whistling at my mom, confusing her for a young girl. We’ve often laughed about that incident among ourselves,” Dawn chuckles. Her relationship with her sister Vuyiswa is just as good.
“She is my brand manager,” Dawn brags, adding that, “We get along very well and we are good buddies. She tries to make sure that everything is running smoothly when it comes to my career.”
Dawn says even though they are all grown up, her sister sometimes comes over for a sleep-over, so that they can catch up.
Reminiscing about their childhood, Vuyiswa says Dawn has always got her into trouble and somehow always got away it. “We were very close and as you can see, we still are. I would get into fights at school and knew she’d fight on my behalf. We’re still very supportive of each other,” says Dawn’s sister.
Sharing how they grew up, Vuyiswa says when they lived in Mthatha, they were bored teenagers and getting up to mischief was their favourite past time. “We loved writing our own music. We weren’t really that good at it then, but we thought we were the happening!” What most people don’t know is that Dawn is actually a musician and performs mainly in Durban where her music, which has a maskandi feel, has been well received. For the first time this year, the artist performed in Johannesburg. Even though the weather was all gloom that day and there wasn’t much of a crowd, the artist can bravely say she did something new and believes in the new year it will become better.
AN ACTRESS IS BORN
Thabile couldn’t be any prouder of her daughter. “I am happy that she is doing what she loves, that she is successful at it and it makes her happy,” she says. Mom of four Thabile says she always knew that her eldest daughter, Dawn, would be in the entertainment industry and her career choice did not surprise her one bit.
“She has always been a very active and imaginative child, and you could tell in her early years she was going to be an entertainer. She was loud, active and very inquisitive. From being involved in church plays, and school plays as a teen, I could tell what direction Dawn wanted to take in her life,” Thabile says.
I WOULD GET INTO FIGHTS AT SCHOOL
SHE STARTED TALKING WHEN SHE WAS ONLY SIX MONTHS OLD!
Dawn was not necessarily an ‘A’ student but was an ‘okay’ student who was hard working.
The mother of the TV star says she couldn’t be happier that her daughter showed a strong interest in drama and music during her schooling years and then later went on to pursue it as a career. Thabile shares how her daughter has always been very self-sufficient and a favourite in the family.
“She was a very independent young lady but very spoilt as she was the first grandchild. I think she really used that to her advantage because my parents were just in love with her. Even my brothers and sisters adored her very much. Did I mention that, she started talking when she was only six months old!” Today Dawn not only enjoys the attention of her family but from millions of South Africans.
A LIFE OF FAME
Vuyiswa interjects and admits that not everything about having a famous sister is rosy. “Sometimes it gets a bit much, especially when we’re out in public and people want to be in her personal space all the time. We sometimes have to play ‘bad cop’ just so she doesn’t have to be the one to say ‘no’ to her fans. Fame is also one of the reasons she is sometimes sceptical about attending family functions; as the attention always shifts to her,
A SUPER MOM
even at funerals,” she says. Dawn agrees and says when people meet her in the streets they often confuse her with her character.
“It can be overwhelming, but for the most part I have become used to it. I only feel sorry for my children who have no privacy. They often have to share me with fans,” says Dawn. Looking at the success Dawn is enjoying, her sister Vuyiswa teasingly says one day she might just write an exposé on her sister’s life. For now, she wants the world to know what a wonderful mother her sister is. Vuyiswa, who has a 22-year-old daughter, describes Dawn as a super mom.
“She is sometimes too hard on herself because she just wants the best for her kids; so if she can’t do something for any of her kids, it really gets to her.” Dawn is doing all she can as mom and celebrates significant milestones.
“My eldest daughter is in matric, so when she attended her matric dance not so long ago, it was like a mini wedding because it was our first. It really is a big deal,” laughs the proud mom. Dawn is excited at the strides she is making as a mom and the growth she has witnessed in her career. “As a performer you always want to do what you haven’t done before,” she says.