Businessperson and reality TV star, Uyanda Mbuli, says her return to TV is a launch of great things yet to come.
Mbuli's show, Uyanda: It's On, was inspired by the last three years of her life, which she lived around the world.
After her much publicised divorce from her ex-husband, Sisa Mbuli, the mother of one said she found her home country difficult to live in
The fashion designer and former Mrs SA Globe told the HuffPost SA: "South Africa was becoming too difficult and too rough for me. The negativity and how my name was being thrown and dragged through mud got tiring. The negativity got to me. I realised then that if I'm not accepted in my own country, I can be accepted elsewhere and that if this dream of mine is so big, then I can live it anywhere in the world".
She said her show is part of her reintroduction to the industry as a now, global citizen.
Mbuli said she is the executive producer of the show, which she funded the from her own pocket.
"This show is not about me being famous only in South Africa. I wanted to create a show that I can take to the world. This is a production that I funded myself. When people criticise me, I'm okay with it and I can take it, because I am the executive producer and I paid for it with my own money," she said.
Mbuli said she is only leasing the show to the SABC because she has a vision of where she is going with it.
"I want to be an international reality show star who hails from South Africa, but is of global significance," Mbuli. I want South Africa to be part of that journey," she said.
Mbuli said while she wanted to focus on the South African story, it has to have international relevance too.
"There is no place where your stories can be told the best than in your own country. People love reality shows in South Africa that are telling the South African story. But I am brining my friends from all over the world and have a storyline that is not purely South African and is appealing to anybody in the world," said Mbuli.
She said the show is also jam-packed with siSwati content, her home language.
"I hope that this show will inspire South Africans to know how small the world is. The boldness of my approach for my show is not defined by external forces, but myself. Here I am following my heart with cameras. The show is not scripted. I'm out there on my own with cameras.
Mbuli said body positivity important in women. She said she believes that body shaming is backwards and irrelevant.
"I think it's people's way of protecting themselves from their own hate. I have seen girls that are big [plus size] dressing up so well that I wish the day I gain weight I want to look like them. It does not determine how adored or attractive you're going to be. Size 0 is overrated. For me it's the same as people shaming dark skinned people. I cannot understand it. I've seen so-called "yellowbone" girls that don't look as pretty as Gabriella Union or many other dark-skinned girls in South Africa, Nigeria or anywhere in the world. Beauty comes from within. These days we have make-up artists that can make anyone look pretty. But as soon as you wipe off the façade, it's gone," said Mbuli.
She said despite her travels and successes, she remains the girl next door from the dusty streets of KaNyamazane, a township in the outskirts of Nelspruit.
"I'm a big dreamer. An ordinary girl who will pursue her dreams no matter what. If I can do it so can you. There is nothing special about me except that I am bold and brave to pursue my dream no matter what," she told HuffPost SA.
Mbuli said anyone ready to give up in life should look at her story.
"I'd advice anyone going through challenges in their lives to look at my life. There was a time where people thought I was done and dusted. They thought the Uyanda Mbuli brand had closed shop. If I could turn my life around, then so can you. I was humiliated and criticised publicly. I have been broke and on my own. You have a way of turning your life around and if that's the only message that I'm able to put out there, then I have done my job," Mbuli added.
Mbuli said she would continue with her fashion line, Diamond Face Couture, but also with an international twist.
"I am opening up the channels to launch DFC from Paris," she said.
Uyanda: It's On airs on SABC 3 every Wednesday at 9pm. The show will have two seasons with 13 episodes each.Suggest a correction