Whether you are a lover of SA’s soapies or an ardent fan of the now-defunct ANN7, you should have definitely come across screen goddess Palesa Madisakwane who has been in showbiz since she was twenty. Currently having the time of her life at 45, the TV star has made some giant strides and never ceases to express her gratitude for her life and the people she calls family.
The actress has successful soapies to her name famous among which are e.tv telenovela Ashes to Ashes where she played Thandeka and Generations where she was Palesa; these are just two of the many soaps she is known for. Asides from her career’s visibility, her relationship with controversial businessman Nico Matlala further made her well know in other social circles.
Date of Birth: September 6, 1975
Place Of Birth: Soweto, Johannesburg Gauteng
Nationality: South African
Occupation: Actress, News Anchor, and TV Host
Active Years: 1995 to date
Marital Status: Single
Children: 3: (Bahumi Madisakwane with Somizi Mhlongo, Thato, and Khumo Mocuminyane)
The Actress Was Born And Raised In Soweto
Palesa Madisakwane was born on September 6, 1975, in Soweto, Johannesburg Gauteng, South Africa, where she was also raised. Although her birthplace and date are known to the public, Palesa is very secretive about her early life and the kind of childhood she had as there is no information on those areas of her life, and she often shies away from talking about it.
Information about her educational background is also not readily available for public consumption, but, from the nature of her work and the expertise she displays in delivering what is expected of her, it is speculated in many circles that she must have a good background educationally or studied under the best teachers.
Information About Her Parents Are Unknown
Like her educational and early childhood background, there is no info about who her parents are, whether she has siblings or not, and what growing up in Soweto was like for her and whether she got her early influence for tv from her family.
The tv-personality has equally stayed notoriously quiet about her birth family. Many hope this will change soon, and she will become comfortable enough to share/give info about these vital areas of her life.
Palesa Madisakwane Kicked Off Her Acting Career At Age 20
While many people are 20 were still trying to figure out adult life, Madisakwane, at the same age, had successfully nabbed her calling and kicked off her career journey on tv. This happens to be in the year 1995, when she had her daughter Bahumi Madisakwane, the product of her relationship with Somizi. Being a single mother at such young age has been fingered as the major reason she had to mature faster to live up to the responsibilities she had to her daughter.
Joggling motherhood with a growing career was certainly not a walk on the runway, but Palesa wouldn’t allow anything to keep her from her dreams. In her over two decades and a half as a screen goddess, she has acted in soaps that aired on SABC1, ETV, and Mzansi Magic, featuring in telenovelas like Ashes to Ashes, IsiBiya, Soul Buddys, Mfolozi Street, Cable baby, Seputla Sebogodi. From the long list, Palesa’s most highly rated work to this very day happens to be her role as Palesa in Generations before she quit the soap opera in 2009.
In 2015, there were rumors that the actress was making a come back to Generations. According to the publication that made headlines back then, Palesa was seen frequenting the SABC studios where she was reportedly discussing her comeback on the soapie. The publication claimed that the show producers were “desperate to save face, as the soapie was not doing well”. The Legacy creator, Mfundi Vundla, however, denied the reports, stating emphatically that Palesa Madisakwane isn’t returning to the soapie
She Left Acting For Broadcasting At 35
Besides her roles in soapies, Palesa Madisakwane made a huge career move when she changed paths from acting and began hosting Gospel Gold, a popular gospel music show on channel SABC 1 in 2010. She took over from Zwai Bala whose contract wasn’t renewed after viewers complained about not being comfortable with his presenting style. The actress had said hosting the show will give her a chance to worship with viewers and have her doing something that will enrich people’s lives.
Having done a good job with her initial try, the actress soon landed another job as a news anchor with the now-defunct ANN7. She also acted as a producer for the channel that desperately needed seasoned and experienced individuals from the TV world at the time. This move had been a long time coming for Palesa Madisakwane who had been looking forward to moving on from acting and embracing a career elevation in the broadcasting world.
The actress’s dream of climbing the ladder of success as a broadcaster through ANN7 was cut short when the company folded up in 2018, barely two years after she began working there.
Palesa lost her job and ended up being cash-strapped and unable to pay some bills. This led to the bank repossessing her Mercedes-Benz after she missed her R12 000 installment three months in a row. It was indeed a tough time for the TV Personality but things brighten up sooner than expected; she currently has a job as a scriptwriter on Zodwa Wabantu’s new reality show.
Her Relationships Have Produced Three Children
The beautiful South African TV and Movie star has had her fair share of good and bad adventures in relationships. One worthy of note is with controversial businessman Nico Matlala who is a decade younger than her.
She was also involved with famous South African Radio and Tv star Somizi Mhlongo, with whom she had daughter Bahumi Madisakwane in February 1995 when she was barely 20 years old. Sadly, the love affair came to a sad end after the latter came out publicly as gay while Palesa was expecting.
Years later, Palesa would find love and proceed to marry Jakes Mocuminyane, with whom she had two children Khumo and Thato Mocuminyan. This was not to last either because in 2014 and at 39 years of age, newspapers and TV headlines in South Africa came alive buzzing with the news of Palesa and Jake’s divorce. No reason was given for the split as both parties did not mention or say anything to that effect.
Palesa Madisakwane still maintains a cordial relationship with her exes, especially the ones she shares her children with. Proof of this is that even though Palesa and Somizi are no longer together, they still maintain a cordial friendship that has worked well so far for their co-parenting plan. A clear example of how friendly they are was seen after Palesa’s auto-crash incident when Somizi ensured she went to see a doctor to have the scars on her face removed. However, she confessed that he didn’t fund the bills for her facial reconstruction surgeries; rather, her cousin in-laws did.
Speaking with Drums, Palesa also recounted how the first number she remembered to call after the incident was that of her ex-husband Jakes Mocuminyane who rushed to the accident scene and was by her side giving emotional support while she recovered.
Other Important Facts To Note About Palesa Madisakwane’s Life
Her Daughter Bahumi Was Born With A Medical Disorder
Palesa’s daughter Bahumi Madisakwane was born with a medical disorder known as lymphedema, an ailment caused by the failure of the lymphatic system. It is marked by inflammation in the arms or legs. Despite the condition, the actress encourages her daughter to live life to the fullest and chase her dreams with passion in her chosen career path. Bahumi is just as successful as her mother is and doing well in her career as a TV personality and an actress.
Palesa and Bahumi share a conspicuous resemblance which often makes it difficult to tell the two of them apart.
She Had An Accident That Almost Took Her Life
In 2019, Palesa was involved in a terrific car crash that almost claimed her life and that of her younger daughter, Zoe, who was nine years old at the time.
The actress was allegedly hit by a drunk driver along Witkoppen Road, Johannesburg, who then tried to flee the scene after his car landed on its roof. Due to his drunken state, however, he was apprehended and arrested before he could get away. Palesa and Zoe were rushed to the hospital, where they both received twelve and nine stitches respectively, before leaving the hospital.
About Palesa’s Beef With Zola
Palesa has been involved in some controversial issues in the course of her career. Worthy of note is the one involving Bonginkosi Dlamini, also known as Zola. The Tv personality had reportedly lambasted Zola in a Twitter post following his refusal to grant an interview during the memorial service of Joe Mafela.
Her tweet came off wrong and soon had her tasting her own medicine when she came under fire for the sizzling tweet. She later released a statement citing her innocence and explaining that the tweet didn’t emanate from her directly but her Public Relations company. The PR manager later offered apologies for tweeting about Zola in that manner.