October 12, 2023

Former reality TV star opens up about losing his home

With all the mistakes, Mandla Hlatshwayo is picking up the pieces
Picture: Supplied

Former reality TV star and Big Brother Mzansi 2014 winner Mandla Hlatshwayo has opened up to ZiMoja about life after winning, his biggest regrets and having to move back home after selling his home. He says he is not afraid to share his story and hopefully, "it will help to build someone else and get me back into the industry." 



He is slowly working his way into the entertainment industry again and will be working behind the scenes on Big Brother as an influencer. After winning Big Brother Mzansi in 2014 with his partner Lexi Van, real name Brumilda van Niekerk, his life changed for the better and developed an even bigger fan base. He bagged another reality TV show and a presenting job on the music show Please Call Me. But things got messy when he had a social media rant. This, Mandla, feels ruined his brand. "I regret having the rant because it squandered my brand," he says. "I was not fully aware of how big my brand was and that ruined everything for me. Some of my fans left and I lost work."



Mandla says that after his social media rant, he had to find other means of making an income as it affected his income, and he joined the fitness industry. "It's something I needed also at the time. I had gained weight and wanted to work on my physique," he says. "I started working out and then got absorbed into the world of fitness. I became a trainer and did almost everything related to fitness," he adds. He did this with his partner and the mother of his four-year-old and two-year-old, Lexi, whom he has been with since 2014. "I did everything fitness until the pandemic, which literally almost took everything away from me."



After winning the Big Brother title and money. Mandla bought a home and also renovated his family home. "I have heard stories of people misspending their winnings but I feel I was responsible with my money. I was not out every night. I renovated my mom's home and bought myself a home," he says. 

It was in 2020 during the pandemic that he was forced to sell his house and move back home. "I had no choice. I could not afford to keep the house anymore. That is one of my biggest regrets, getting rid of my home," he says. "I bought that home with my winnings and managed to keep it even in hard times, but due to the pandemic, I felt I needed to let it go. I downgraded and just focused on staying alive," he says. Mandla is now trying to make ends meet but would never go back into the Big Brother house. "I was 24 years old when I got into the house in 2014. I am at a different time in my life. I have no regrets about being then but I'm all grown up now." Mandla wouldn't mind a job as a TV host. "That is something I was really good at then and I would do that again for sure."

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