TV personality Nonhle Thema recently poured her heart out during an interview on Real Talk with Anele‚ where she opened up about the bouts of depression she faced at the peak of her TV career.
At the height of her career‚ Nonhle was the host of O-Access‚ a show which saw her travelling around the globe to meet the biggest names in the entertainment industry‚ such as 50Cent‚ Pharrell‚ Trey Songs and many more.
While many would do almost anything to have a job like that‚ Nonhle revealed that it made her lose touch with the ground under her feet.
“I was living a life that was a dream. I wasn’t even living a life that was a reality‚” she explained to Anele.
“The life that I was living‚ the things that were happening in my life‚ like travelling overseas where you’re not paying‚ meeting people‚ it’s not normal. There was a point I didn’t know who I am‚ I didn’t who I was anymore. I am now a human being‚ and I am now humbled‚ because I know life now. I know life is not living in America‚ and interviewing 50cent‚ because there was a time I thought that was life. That is not life.”
The woman behind the tweets
After garnering much success as the face of O-Access and Channel O at large‚ Nonhle launched her own reality show in 2011‚ called Nonhle Goes To Hollywood — which was made to chronicle her journey of trying to make it in America.
However‚ shortly after the show premiered‚ a slew of fans took to Twitter to criticise her new venture‚ claiming that it did not live up to it’s expectations.
It was further reported that it failed to attract ratings with SA audiences.
However‚ Nonhle dismissed this‚ saying that the only reason the show failed is because of her infamous Twitter tirades targeted at all her critics.
“The reality show was fantastic‚ it did very well for M-Net. What happened with me is that Twitter became my devil. One or two people when the show premiered‚ and they didn’t kind of like it‚ I responded. And that was my first mistake. I fed the fire. And people were like ‘Yes! Kanti she’s not perfect. She also gets hurt’.”
“Whatever you do‚ there are people waiting for you to get weak‚ so that they can come nibble at your knees‚ and attack you‚ and crush you. So I showed weakness‚ and those people that were not my fans‚ came and devoured me‚ and I allowed them because I made the show look like it was not a success‚ because of two people.”
It was rumoured that her account got hacked‚ however‚ she has since set the record straight‚ revealing that all her controversial tweets came from her.
“I was always the one tweeting from my account‚ and there there was a time I did get someone that was assisting me to tweet for me.
“But that whole Twitter thing‚ I was really just trying to find myself. Everybody asks me ‘Do you regret it?’ I don’t regret it. It happened for a reason. I lost a lot of money. It’s fine. I lost a lot of things‚ it’s fine. But you know what? I gained a lot more than what I lost‚ because I gained who Nonhle really is.”
Defined by her success
As Nonhle started becoming teary-eyed‚ she opened up about how everyone around started seeing her as a trophy‚ and not a human being — which played a role in finding it difficult to get out of her dark space.
She said she wasn’t prepared for all the success and the fame she got‚ which made her lose herself.
“I wasn’t prepared for this. My mom didn’t know I would be this successful. I got into TV at 21…today‚ it became my career. It became something I didn’t even know. I was never prepared for what happened in my life.
“I think for me‚ my achievements started becoming who I am. Even my own family just started seeing me as this achievement. Like at work‚ even people‚ my fans forgot that I’m a human being. And I think when I went through my state of trying to discover me‚ I needed to first also understand that I’m human. I’m not a success machine‚ who brings ratings‚ who sells products‚ because that’s who I had become all my life. I didn’t know that I had feelings. I didn’t know that I was kind. I didn’t know that I could cry‚” she said.