THE year 2018 started-off beautifully for former Generations actress and businesswoman, Sophie Lichaba.
She was beaming with excitement and happy to have found love again after being married to the man of her dreams, businessman Max Lichaba. During the year, her drastic weight loss made headlines and was discussed as though it was a joke. To add salt to the wound, she was proclaimed dead too on social media.
In an exclusive interview with Move!, Sophie talks about leaving the pain and shenanigans from 2018 behind and focusing on her private victories such as being a great mother to her children.
The 47-year-old veteran actress’s failures have made headlines throughout her life and her children’s lives. When she had two failed marriages and was involved in bad relationships, her children witnessed it all.
Her daughter, Rudo Mphasane (27), says over the years she has always admired her mother for being the strong woman that she is. “I don’t know how she does it, but she does and moves on. She has had to be everything to us and deal with all these things that are said about her all by herself. I am really grateful that she fought every time she went through challenges. She did it for us,” Rudo says.
While she may appear to be a tough cookie, Sophie sheds a tear as she talks about her children.
“I’ve always wanted the best for my children and what hurts is that they have seen it all. I often tell God that I am sorry that my children had to witness the pain and struggles throughout my life, with me. I wish I could have protected my kids from the pain and suffering,” she says.
Her son, 19-year-old Lwandle Ndaba from her previous marriage to actor, Themba Ndaba, says when rumours did the rounds about his mother being dead, he did not really panic.
“We are used to hurtful things, that aren’t true, being said about our mom,” he laughs.
Remember the sassy Queen Moroka on Generations, the one who made the word ‘darling’ fashionable? Well, in the house she is ‘mom’ or ‘Sophla’ if the mood allows.
“Sophie is Queen to her fans but to us she is our mother,” says Shallon Mphasane, who is Sophie’s late sister’s daughter whom she adopted.
She adds that discipline and God have always been important values that were instilled in them by Sophie.
Even though the children don’t live with Sophie anymore, they know what not to do to be in trouble with ‘mom’. Sophie says it is God who has given her strength and carried her throughout fires she was probably not meant to survive. “I have been through a lot but here I am. I’m still standing,” Sophie says.
PUTTING UP A FIGHT
Sophie is diabetic and both her late parents were diabetic too. For her family, diabetes is serious and sensitive.
“Yes, I have lost weight and so what? I’m diabetic and taking good care of myself. My diet and habits have changed,” Sophie says.
In 2018, she read some hurtful things being said about her on social media, but she says she isn’t broken.
“Yes, I am a celebrity, but people forget that I am a human being too,” she says.
Like any other woman or mother, she has her struggles and demons to fight. “I am not going to lie, it is hard, but I have to fight. If I don’t fight every fight I am not going to make it. For my children, if I had fallen apart all those years ago, what would they have learnt from me?”
Not only has Sophie gained a new husband, she has also welcomed Max’s seven children.
Max’s eldest daughter, Disemelo Thebe, gets along very well with Sophie’s children. Although she admits that at first it was hard to blend, it became easy as time went on. Sophie says her family is important to her and she prays for them more than ever. “I am so grateful to have Max as my husband. He understands what I am going through and holds my hand through it all. The smallest things, like when we go grocery shopping and he constantly reminds me to take particular food for my diet, keep us strong,” she says.
THE YEAR AHEAD
Sophie is looking forward to what the year will hold. Of course, on the priority list is her health and spiritual wellbeing. “Restoration and renewal will happen when you have overcome everything you had to go through. In 2019, I am in control. I didn’t know my strength until all of the pain and struggles happened, but I know that God allowed it to happen for a reason,” she says.