If Ryan Seacrest can do it, then Katlego Maboe can do it!

2014-07-03 12:34

Cape Town - I know Katlego Maboe from back in the day. Although we never met we both studied at the North West University in Potchefstroom, where Katlego grew up.

As students walking underneath the same acorn trees on campus we would have never guessed that a few years later we would be sitting right here - across from each other in the luxurious lounge on the second floor of the Taj Cape Town hotel, nestled in the heart of Cape Town, chatting about the good old days.

Katlego, who recently walked away with the YOU Spectacular award for most stylish celeb, is styled in a black shirt, black tie and grey coat. Between his polished black shoes and fitted grey pants is a glimpse of quirkiness expressed with colourful socks. Effortlessly cementing his status as most well-dressed among South Africa’s most famous and unconsciously giving a glimpse into his lively personality.

A hot new job:

I remember back in the university days watching Katlego perform as part of the talented a cappella boys group, Flip a Coin, and now he is gearing up to host one of the most popular reality shows on TV. With Roxy Burger by his side the 27-year-old will be bringing to life the newest season of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa.

"It’s an exciting new challenge and I’m very excited to get started. I’m even going to take some dance lessons myself. Just so that I get what the contestants are going through and better understand the whole process," he explains.

"Can you dance?" I ask.

"I've got natural rhythm. I mean I’ve got the beat. But I’m not professionally trained. That’s why I want to take some lessons myself. As a classically trained singer I know what it takes to get it right on that professional level. It’s a lot of hard work and it isn’t going to be easy.

"But the contestants are going to be great. I can hardly wait to see them dancing. You should have seen them at the launch. They came out in full force. And that’s only a taste of what’s to come," Katlego explains excitedly while taking a sip of his cup of coffee. He pulls a face. "Wow! This is strong! Just the way I like it."

"With a schedule like yours you probably need a lot of coffee?" I joke.

"I try my best not to rely on it too much. I’m lucky that I have people who help me balance my diet, exercise programme and sleep patterns."

Katlego, who is a well-known face on the early morning breakfast show Expresso, will have to  carefully balance travelling between the Mother City and Johannesburg in order to film both shows. "And in-between all of that I’ve got a few other commitments like the Durban July," he says.

"How on earth are you ever going to do all of that?" I ask seriously concerned that the enthusiastic young man in front of me might run out of steam somewhere in the middle of all of this. Just hearing about his busy schedule makes my head spin.

"Listen, I’ve got a great team. My agent is absolutely amazing and is helping me with all the arrangements and admin and flights and bookings. I’ve got a lot of help through all of this.

"It’s also all about conditioning yourself to be able to get to everything. Your whole body, mind and soul need to be in shape. Plus if you love something as much as I love doing this it isn’t work at all."

From choir boy to TV host:

When you ask around in the entertainment circles about Katlego you always get the same response: "That guy is a hard worker."  Since that very first choir audition, which he accidentally stumbled upon, he’s been working non-stop to get where he is today.

As a youngster Katlego was a force to be reckoned with on the sport field but it was his curiosity that ultimately lead him onto the path he finds himself on today.

"I was sitting and waiting for my grandmother to pick me up after class when I noticed a crowd of people streaming into the school hall. I followed them and sat right at the back totally unaware of what was going on.

"Turns out it was the choir auditions. I somehow ended up auditioning and landed a spot in the choir. A week later the conductor of the North West Children’s Choir arrived at our school and I got to sing for him. Completely unexpected I got accepted and asked to join the choir," Katlego explains.

From that moment on, Katlego’s life took a turn to the entertainment side. At university he joined Flip a Coin which saw him travelling across South Africa performing at various venues. Fresh from completing his B.Com degree the bright-eyed youngster took a trip to Johannesburg to audition for the Afrikaans TV show, De Kat.

Katlego, who can effortlessly switch between Afrikaans, English and Setswana, was an instant hit on screen.

That Ryan Seacrest factor

These days Katlego is a hot commodity and a well-known face on TV.

His warm and welcoming personality makes him easy to associate with and is only one of the reasons he is such a popular choice when it comes to interviewing everyone from international celebrities to people on the street.

"It wasn’t easy at the start. I didn’t know that this would be what I would be doing for a living. It sort of naturally evolved. I’ve learned a lot on the way. From small things like listening, breathing and really understanding what the person in front of you is saying to just having fun and enjoying it.

"If you enjoy doing the interview the audience will have the same experience."

"Do you ever get star struck?" I ask.

"In the very beginning I did. But now I’ve learned to get that filter," he explains while sliding his hand downwards in front of his face. "You have to differentiate between your own life and likes and the job you are doing."

His wish list of must-do interviews is a who’s who of the top headline makers around the world. From Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey to our very own Jacob Zuma.

"I would also like to interview Ryan Seacrest. But I’m not sure how that will work. He’s so used to sitting in the interviewer seat. He’s a great inspiration to me. I would like to emulate his success. He just does everything," Katlego says sitting back on the couch thinking for a moment before adding; "I always say if Ryan Seacrest can do it, then I can do it." He laughs.

(Photos: Warren Talmarkes/Channel24)

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Special thanks to Taj Cape Town hotel for hosting the interview.

- Channel24

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