Relationships are said to be one of the hardest things to work out in life. It gets even harder when one person in the relationship is a celebrity and there is a level of interest from the public on issues that are generally considered to be personal. In the case of Lerato Mvelase, the South African actress and media personality found herself to constantly feature in gossip columns and in the headlines of tabloid magazines due to her on-again, off-again relationship with another high profile personality, actor and comedian Siyabonga Radebe.
Things did not go smoothly between the pair but the Isibaya star has made sure to put all that behind her and focus on the other good things life has given her.
Lerato Mvelase’s Early Life and Career Beginnings
On the 7th of September, 1982, in the urban settlement of Soweto, Johannesburg, Lerato Mvelase was welcomed to the world. While the identity of her father is not known to the public, her mother has been identified as Nozimanga Mvelase.
As a young child, Mvelase grew a passion for acting and also had interests in singing. She performed in numerous theatre productions as a schoolgirl over the years and thus decided to pursue her passion for the performance arts. Following her matriculation at Sacred Heart College, she enrolled at Wits University to study Drama, receiving a degree in 2002.
Things appeared to almost immediately fall into place for Lerato Mvelase as she landed her first job as a presenter on CCM1. She would later get her screen debut with a cameo appearance in e.tv’s Backstage (2003). A much bigger role came her way in 2004 when she played a young college design student in the first season of the SABC1 drama series, Mzansi. Due to her commitments as a presenter on Mindset Educational TV from 2003-2005, however, the actress was replaced on the show.
In 2005, Mvelase was able to return to acting as she landed the lead role of Katlego in the international Emmy Award-nominated drama series, Home Affairs. Katlego was a dedicated drama student struggling with her identity as a black woman in South Africa. The actress played the role for five years, a time during which she was able to return to school, acquiring a diploma in Communication Science from the University of South Africa.
Other TV shows and films Lerato Mvelase has since gone ahead to appear in include playing the role of Lillian in the film Life Above All (2010) and acting as a security guard named Princess in the SABC2 sitcom Home Sweet Home in 2011. In 2013, she hosted the e.tv docu-reality series Kaelo – Stories of Hope before starring as journalist Dipuo Nuru in the SABC2 thriller series Thola in 2014. The following year, she guest-starred on the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Road before most recently playing the recurring role of Lt. Samkelo Mkhize on the Mzansi Magic soapie Isibaya.
Other Things You Probably Did Not Know About Her
1. Lerato Mvelase is multilingual. The actress speaks English as well as the native South African languages of Tswana, Zulu, South Sotho, and Xhosa fluently.
2. The Isibaya star has a protection order against her ex-husband Siyabonga Radebe who according to reports, mistreated and brazenly cheated on her during their time together. In April 2019, it was reported that Siya B spent time behind bars for violating the order. The actor who had previously kept mum on the whole situation took to Instagram and explained that he had failed to be the best boyfriend and apologized for having disappointed his ex, her family and his own.
3. Acclaimed South African rapper and television presenter ProVerb is her brother. Like her sibling, Mvelase has added musician to her list of titles. In 2019, she released the song “Sthingthing” which talks about women tolerating bad behavior from men. The song has received a considerable amount of airplay, enough to encourage her to keep having a go at it.
4. Mvelase’s opinion on polygamy has changed thanks to her role on Isibaya. The actress admitted that previously, she would never consider being the second or third option in a relationship or marriage, however, due to the role she plays on the show where she is wife number three of her love interest, it is something she might be willing to consider if a few other things check out.
5. Unlike many other people who get very comfortable in whatever they have been able to achieve in life so far, Mvelase hopes to go one step further to ensure she leaves a legacy. She hopes to do this by one day becoming the SA minister of arts and culture.