Youth Village caught up with the beautiful, sassy and talented Relebogile Mabotja. In this inspiring interview, Relebogile speaks about her career behind the scenes, future aspirations and her journey so far in the entertainment industry.
YV: How would you describe Relebogile?
I would describe her as curious, stubbornly ambitious, funny, creative and open.
YV: When did your love for the entertainment industry begin?
I fell in love with the arts long before my memory can recall but the industry, I’d have to say with my first job at the age of 17 with Fame-The Musical. When it became a profession.
YV: You are one of a very few female musical directors in a male dominated industry, what does this mean to you?
It means everything to a feminist like myself. I am a huge advocate for transformation where women, especially young black females are concerned. I hope it means more than just a title because I do put my heart and soul into my work when I musical direct.
YV: What inspired you to transition from being in the forefront to being behind the scenes?
What inspired me was the need to see my ideas through from conception, to birth to growth beyond being a face and a voice speaking the words of others. I do this as a producer and a radio host.
YV: You own your own media company ‘Lebotja Media’, what motivated you to start it?
My father’s entrepreneurial side pushed me and the desire to my own my work and my brand. It’s important to do things for oneself and not wait for others to do it for you.
YV: What are some of the challenges you face in the industry?
Definitely transformation and the expectations people have of me because they know me as an actress, singer or presenter and not a business woman or a musical director. It makes people uncomfortable with the idea that I am more and hard for them to take me seriously doing multiple things.
YV: You are a woman of many talents, how do you strike balance?
I often get it wrong but with the help of great support with family, friends and various mentors in the different fields of media and entertainment I play in.
YV: Who do you look up to for inspiration?
Strong women like Queen Latifah that are successfully and unexpectasly multi-skilled. Oprah Winfrey and Khanyi Dlhomo who have transitioned from faces to strong businesswomen changing other women’s lives. And of course my strong friends Pabi Moloi and Terry Pheto, and my mother.
YV: What does Relebogile do for fun?
Anything chilled and relaxed with loved ones and laughs.
YV: Your favourite musician is….?
YV: Name 3 things you cannot live without?
Family, Love, Music.
YV: Are you taken? If so, who’s the lucky man?
Hahaha. I have always been taken. By the industry…
YV: : Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Still on radio, making more music and growing my business into a strong indie label with artists I have helped change their lives. Hosting my own talk show and in a position where I can assist with transformation in this industry.
YV: What do you think can be done to overcome some of the challenges facing the youth in SA?
Education is key. For young people, their parents, communities and leaders. It can solve many of our problems.
YV: Any advice you have for young people in South Africa?
You really can be whoever you want to be. The only thing stopping you is YOU!