Unapologetically Anele
GLAMOUR South Africa|December 2019
If the phrase ‘bloom wherever you’re planted’ were a person, it would be TV and radio personality, Anele Mdoda. The queen of radio has captured the hearts of generations of South Africans with her infectious personality.
Thobeka Phanyeko

Fresh off a two-hour flight from the Mother City to Joburg, I’m pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a bubbly Anele in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton. On my way to the venue, I’d imagined her showing up with an entourage, all glammed up, but she’s in her gym gear, sans makeup: solo. I extend my hand to introduce myself; she goes in for a hug. There are no airs and graces with Anele, which makes me feel at ease as we make our way to a more intimate space. We arrive at a cosy room, overlooking the Gautrain station. Cognisant I’ll be flying back to Cape Town in a few hours, we get straight to it.

The A in team

Anele’s husky voice is a regular feature in the lives of 94.7 listeners who wake up to her fun conversations, laughs and playful banter. “I have the best radio team in the world, and I say this because I listen to a lot of radio,” she says. Anele’s quick wit and humour add a refreshing dynamic to the Breakfast Club, also hosted by Thembekile Mrototo, Frankie du Toit, Alex Caige and Cindy Poluta. With their vibrant personalities combined, they’re known for causing pandemonium, as motorists tuned into the frequency can be seen jamming to their favourite tunes, nodding and laughing hysterically. “One thing I love about radio is that it doesn’t have superstars, but it can make you a superstar. So you have to be ordinary; once you stop being every day, you’ve lost your audience.” Perhaps it’s her easy-going nature that often encourages fans to approach her on the streets as if she’s an old friend. “That always happens to me. I suppose it’s because my demeanour is friendly. I don’t think a fan would approach Naomi Campbell like that, but they would approach Ellen like that because that’s what we give off.”

The makings of a Queen

Anele has a candid nature that gives off an older-sister vibe, except she’s the third-born of four girls. I try to imagine what it was like growing up in an all-girl family. Was there drama? “Not at all because we’re all so different: Unathi was a tomboy, Thembisa has always been dainty, and Zama is more bohemian. I’m a hybrid of tomboy and lady-like.” I’m surprised to learn that Anele also has a younger brother, Lulo. “He’s 12, and people don’t know about him because he’s not from my mom, but we’re all close.”

I’m in awe of how she moves so seamlessly between different roles, and I’m wondering what this speaks to. “I grew up in a house where there were boundaries when it came to safety and no boundaries when it came to growth. My parents encouraged us to try everything.” Some of Anele’s fondest childhood memories growing up in Umtata are of the music of Brooke Benton, Aretha Franklin, Hugh Masekela and Letta Mbulu, “and my parents were obsessed with TKZee”. Her love for music can be traced back to her roots, and she recalls the scent of home with nostalgia. “It was baked bread, fried eggs, Viennas and chicken innards.”

Anele, who lost her mom to pancreatic cancer 12 years ago, says she misses her a lot since becoming a mom herself to Alakhe, who is now four. “Motherhood has altered my perspective on life, and a lot of things make sense in retrospect. I understand why my mom was so protective and why she insisted on cooking for us. It was her way of showing love, and as a result, it’s how I express my love.” She also attributes her wit and humour to the relationship she shared with her mom, “I was scared of her because she kept us in check, but I was mouthy with her, which she loved because she knew she was shaping my character.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GLAMOUR SOUTH AFRICAView All

8 Mental Strategies to Help You Stick With Exercise

Practical advice to help you crush your fitness goals

4 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

THE 7 MOST COMMON MIGRAINE TRIGGERS

Expert advice for dealing with excruciating headaches.

5 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

SEX

The case for telling you your partner exactly how you want to feel during sex?

5 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

SERVING FACES

How a handful of local modelling agencies has turned the industry on its head by offering a different point of view and a different point of access.

3 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

Forgetting the familiar

Because we know going to the gym isn’t for everyone, we reached out to fitness instructors who teach alternative, challenging and fun workouts that positively affect both body and mind, and – best of all – won’t ask you to do squats or lunges.

7 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

Changing faces

She drinks three litres of water a day and says her skin has never looked better. Marian De Vos is breaking boundaries by loving the skin she’s in. Her tell-all, here.

4 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

CHROMATIC EFFECT

Colours are vibrations of energy with p g p p how to channel them correctly to improve your life and mind.

4 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

A powerhouse: Connie Ferguson

Businesswoman, actress, and mother Connie Ferguson opens up about everything: body insecurities, mental health, career, family life, and fitness.

6 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

A MODEL EXAMPLE

Modelling attracts young people in their droves because it’s glamorous, but few of them are actually successful. Just like any other career, Mala Bryan says, it requires extensive research, dedication and hard work.

4 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
April 2020

The Skincare Conundrum

We’ve been thinking about our skin all wrong. If you really want to change the way it looks and feels, it’s time to think outside of those old skin-type boxes.

5 mins read
GLAMOUR South Africa
March 2020
RELATED STORIES

LATEST APPS PROMISE FAST SERVICE BUT CAN THEY DELIVER?

When Mahlet Berhanemeskel gets back to her New York City home from her 90-minute commute, she doesn’t feel like cooking. So instead she orders food like BLTs, Cheez-Its and cookies from an app called Gorillas.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 22, 2022

DINOSAURS AREN'T EXTINCT

BRIAN JELICH’S TRAILBLAZING, 5.90 INDEX-RACING 7.3L POWER STROKE

4 mins read
Diesel World
November 2021

Landscape into music

It says something about the power of music that some individuals fading into dementia can still recognize the music they knew earlier in their lives. Not to denigrate new music, or music one hasn’t heard before, but our mental jukeboxes award top chart numbers to music that we have lived with over time. Those DJs making their playlists in our brain are the toughest of critics. They don’t care what anyone else might think, “Close to You” is staying in the rotation. Music and memory are linked.

4 mins read
Stereophile
February 2021

Queen Of The South

Charleston is very much the contemporary South – young, vibrant, tech-savvy and optimistic about the future

5 mins read
Business Traveler
November 2019

Mini 'Max

SOLID AXLE, SHORTBED, 800 HP, AND LOADS OF FUN TO DRIVE OFF-ROAD.

2 mins read
Diesel Power
December 2019

It's all fun & games

Comedian and team captain Jason Goliath lifts the lid on season 3 of local hit reality show Celebrity Games Night.

3 mins read
TVPlus - English
10 February 2022

A Signal Of Hope

AS A PLATFORM FOR THE MOBILITY OF THE FUTURE, IAA MOBILITY 2021 GAVE A SIGNAL OF HOPE. ASHISH BHATIA BRINGS COMPONENTS EXHIBITS THAT SHOWED TRANSFORMATION OF MOBILITY.

5 mins read
Commercial Vehicle
November 2021

A Signal Of Hope

As a platform for the mobility of the future, IAA Mobility 2021 gave a signal of hope. Ashish Bhatia brings components exhibits that showed transformation of mobility.

5 mins read
Auto Components India
October 2021

New MAHLE Hydrogen Test Centre

The new MAHLE test centre for hydrogen applications has been pressed into operation in Stuttgart.

2 mins read
Auto Components India
May 2021

The components of growth

RAJ KALRA, PRESIDENT, MAHLE HOLDING INDIA, IS SPEARHEADING THE GROUP’S LEGACY BY CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHEREIN EMPLOYEES FROM INDIA CAN EXCEL AND DRIVE INNOVATION FOR THE WORLD

8 mins read
Manufacturing Today
May 2021