Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho (born March 26, 1986) is a South African actress, TV and Radio producer, MC, Radio personality, and motivational speaker. She is best known for her appearance in the popular TV series the Real Housewives of Johannesburg.
If there was one thing true fans of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg Season 2 enjoyed about the cast members that made the show a whole vibe, it would be the free-spirited and refreshingly candid personality Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho, who joined the cast of the show in its second season. The TV/Radio personality, who has well over thirteen years of experience doing what she loves and keeping people entertained, surely made the right move joining RHOJ, where she bolstered her fame while enjoying all the good things she had always dreamed of.
Although Lethabo had made a good name for herself and was famous in her own right before joining the cast of RHOJ, there is no doubt that she has hit a new level of fame on the show. She has since leveraged the said fame to form bigger job opportunities and friendships that, according to her, have only made her life better. In all, the RHOJ star seems to be having the time of her life and is making her mama proud.
Lethabo Joined RHOJ Because She Loves To Live a Good Life
Many have often wondered how Lejoy joined the cast of RHOJ, considering that she is not actually married. Because the show producers have not made open the criteria they considered while choosing the show’s cast, no one seems to be the wiser on how the tv personality got cast on the show. From all indications, she auditioned to be on the show like everyone else. But beyond that, she brought her A-game to the auditions and scaled through. This notwithstanding, the outspoken actress has made bold to say that she wanted to join the show to live an expensive life and have all the fun she wants to while still earning money.
From revelations she has made about her early life and childhood, Lejoy apparently did not have all the wealth she has amassed now at her disposal. Growing up with a single mother who had to struggle really hard to provide the barest necessities for her children, Lejoy said she became determined to enjoy life to the fullest irrespective of what people around her think. This sentiment is undoubtedly how she developed a free and outspoken personality that did not sit well with many other cast members of RHOJ season 2. Despite not being married on the show, Lethabo certainly made her presence felt.
Fans of RHOJ Loved Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho’s Personality
From all the reviews that came in when the second season aired, it was apparent that Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho was a breath of fresh air. While many watched the first season, a bigger number thought season two was more interesting and packed with the right kind of drama. There was no doubt that the addition of Lethabo was a no-brainer because her ability to say what she thinks at every point in time often created issues, which she was certainly not afraid of tackling, hence keeping fans all the more engaged.
While the argument is still fresh as to whether the show was scripted or not, the star has admitted that in some ways, it is, but once the camera starts rolling and the drama starts unfolding, and emotions run high. Soon, people will start showing their true characters and speaking their minds. In all, there is no doubt that the combination of Lethabo, Mrs. Mops, and Lebo was everything the show needed to be revitalized from the poor reviews of the first season.
The Actress Had a Tough Childhood In Limpopo
Life for Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho started in Seshego, Limpopo, where she was born on the 25th of March 1986 as the first child of her parents whose marriage ended in divorce after three kids. Following their separation, Lejoy and her siblings were single-handedly raised by their mother, who could not provide a comfortable enough life for her children despite how hard she worked. From her own accounts, Lethabo endured the lack of necessities such as sanitary towels and, a good many times, had to skip school whenever her period came on a school day. These experiences have been identified as the beginning of Lejoy’s immense drive to succeed because she never lived a life of penury as an adult.
Despite the challenges of her childhood in her hometown of Limpopo, Lethabo followed in her mother’s footsteps, working hard to excel at everything starting from the good grades she scored in high school to make it to the Tshwane University of Technology, where she bagged a Broadcast Journalism Diploma and graduated in 2006.
She Reunited With Her Father at 16
It is not clear how old Lethabo was when her parents divorced, but they seemed to be an ideal couple before that. Her mother, Anna Magadi Mathatho, was a teacher, while her Father, Elliot Semenya, was a very creative disc jockey. From all indications, the actress is a perfect combination of genes from both parents as she has admitted to getting her work ethic and personality from her mother, who taught her that anything is possible if she puts her mind to it. She, however, gets her creative personality from her father despite his absence.
Having understood her mother’s struggles, Lethabo became responsible at a very young age doing the much she can to support her mother’s efforts. Hence, when her mother lost her job and their only main source of income, sixteen-year-old Lethabo turned to her father, who had reappeared into their lives. However, this reunion didn’t last because as soon as she asked for financial support for her school fees, he disappeared again.
In her opinion, he chose not to be a part of her life because of a meager R20,000, so she focusses all of her attention on her mother, who she went as far as building a house for. She insists, however, that she made up with her father before he died, and she forgave him and no longer held any of his sins against him.
Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho Has Two Siblings
From all that Lethabo went through and her very rough childhood, one would assume she was the only child of her parents, but this was not the case. She has two siblings who are significantly younger than she is. Hence, it is not certain if they are her half-siblings as her parents divorced when she was very young. Her brother Karabo is 27 while her sister Tokologo is 16.
Considering that there was no other mention of her father after the second time she left when she was 16, Karabo and Tokologo may not be her father’s children. There is no info regarding what her siblings are up to, but the siblings are close-knit, looking at her social media posts. Moreover, she expressed gratitude for having Tokologo as her kid sister and refers to Karabo as a true gentleman.
Her Career Pursuits Began On Radio in 2006
There is no gainsaying the fact that Lethabo was famous in her own rights before she stepped into bigger glory on the RHOJ show. Her career efforts kicked off proper in 2006, which was the same year she graduated from the university. She started with positions as a radio personality working for Jacaranda and Capricorn radio stations simultaneously. Her determination paid off two years later, in 2008 when she scored a gig producing and presenting programs on Manna TV. From here, her roll took off in earnest with more offers coming around and her excellent work speaking for itself.
She moved to a local radio station in Limpopo in the higher position of Programmes Manager. Next, she scored an audience on SABC’s Thobela FM as the co-anchor of Ditlalemeso, the station’s breakfast show. This was where her fame skyrocketed, all thanks to SABC’s countrywide coverage. Her following increased, her network expanded, and there’s been no stopping her ever since. She has gone as far as getting her very own TV show, Tea Talk with Lejoy.
Although she loves her work on radio and is not ready to give it up, her work on The Real Housewives of Johannesburg brought her to a new awareness of her love for TV. When the show started, she admitted that her Radio work took a back seat to enable her to enjoy playing dress-up and showing off the incredible life she was living.
Currently, she has returned to her first love on Radio and is making bigger strides. She is the host of Mzansi Magic Show Ingane Yam since it premiered in October 2020. Even more recently, in 2021, she scored a new position as a presenter for SABC’s investigative, current affairs show Leihlo La Sechaba.
She Is Also A Core Humanitarian
Having had a rough start in life, Lethabo Lejoy knows better than most celebrities what it means to be poor, and as such, she has devoted her time and resources to helping the less privileged. She established the Lejoy Foundation in 2012 to ease the struggles of previously disadvantaged youth in rural and underdeveloped areas while contributing to the development of society in general.
Through hard work and her self-made success story, she successfully built herself into a model for young ladies everywhere to aspire to. Some of her target communities are Mamelodi and Limpopo. Among the many things the foundation is known for, it provides groceries to families, organizes a drive that provides sanitary towels to young schoolgirls, providing winter clothing to school children, refurbishing orphanages, and generally gives out donations to help children have a better childhood than she did.
She credits her humanitarian nature to her mother, who she says taught her to share the little she has with others. In the bid to achieve as much as they can, the foundation has partnered with others where necessary to achieve its aims because, in her own words, none but ourselves will move South Africa a step further.
Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho Is In a Long Distant Relationship
While many assumed she was married to have been cast on RHOJ, this is not the case. Lethabo Lejoy is in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend of many years, Par Thoren. Considering how they have stuck together despite the distance, speculations were rife that they were married, but she says they are yet to leap. Par Thoren may not be as famous as his boo Lethabo is, but he is very successful in his own right as an engineer. Although the Swedish gentleman did not make many appearances with Lethabo on the RHOJ show, she is obviously head over heels in love.
The actress, who does not mind sharing details about her love life, said she met Par Toren in an ice cream shop. She was standing in the queue behind him, and when he seemed undecided about what flavor of ice cream to get, she had jokingly suggested a scoop of each flavor. In hindsight, she recalls that she just wanted to hurry him along because she was running late for her radio show. However, Thoren took her advice and asked for her email address after she hastily and mistakenly paid for their purchases.
Later on the same day, he emailed her a picture of his empty ice cream cup, saying that he was even more confused because all of the flavors were delicious. It’s been five years since that first meeting, and the couple is still going strong. If you wonder how they do it, Lethabo explains that although Thoren was in SA when they first met, he’s been away on work for the past two years. To bridge the gap, she often flies out to Sweden or wherever he visits and spends time with her man.
Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho cleared the air on the many speculations about whether she is a housewife. She said that she had not gotten there just yet as she has big dreams like every girl about getting married someday and having her own kids. Fans took this to mean that Par Thoren has not proposed, but the couple is working towards an engagement soon if the rumors are something to go by. For her work on The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, she prefers to go by House Partner rather than Housewife.