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Lesedi FM’s Twasa on her 20-year-long career – ‘I don’t find being controversial exciting’

2019-10-01 16:59
Seipati “Twasa” Seoke. (Photo: DRUM)
Seipati “Twasa” Seoke. (Photo: DRUM)

She didn’t know if she’d have a job when the radio station she worked for shuffled their line-up, but it turns out Seipati “Twasa” Seoke had nothing to worry about.

Lesedi FM didn’t only renew her contract – she’s become such a hit on the airwaves that she was crowned queen of breakfast radio at the recent Liberty Radio Awards. When she pops into DRUM’s offices for a catch-up, the pint-sized radio host is a bundle of energy, despite her long day.

Twasa rises long before the crack of dawn so listeners can tune into her Monate Breakfast Show from 6am-9am, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Radio is home for me, I don’t feel like I’m tired or I’m at a job,” she tells us. “I can count the days I’ve been off-air or off sick. My listeners go crazy when they don’t hear me, they ask where I am.”

Twasa started her radio career in 1999 but became a household name when she replaced Vinolia “V-Mash” Mashego on SABC1’s hit music show Jam Alley back in 2002. She found fame on TV, but radio has always been her first love. “I’ve built credibility with the listeners. They trust me and come to me for advice.”

The broadcaster has barely aged from her days as a TV presenter. “I haven’t aged because fitness is my life,” she says. “I go to gym every day, not to lose or gain weight. I go because that’s what I do every day without fail. It’s a lifestyle.”

This year Twasa celebrates turning 40 and her 20-year radio career, but she doesn’t look a day over 30 thanks to her healthy lifestyle. It’s all because of a childhood pact she and her brother made while flipping through old pictures of their parents.

“We saw how they gained weight through the years, and decided how we wanted to look at 40. We started going to gym and eating well.”

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Good day??! Some champion family catch up. So I did the the 10km run again this morning. Saturdays are great for long runs and I thoroughly enjoyed running against myself. I've just recently added swimming. Thabiso Sikwana has been working hard to get me in shape. It's been tough overcoming hydrophobic and then progressing to actual swimming. It has taken a lot of faith in the truth of life to get over the fear of death by water. We are on lesson number 4 and we are working on the backstroke. She wants us to do the Midma Mile in 2020 and I also want to do Kilimanjaro. Abuti Thapelo Jonas, don't you want to join this climb? I'm pushing my body into the next 40yrs of my life. I believe I've been given three batches of them. The goal is to get to 120 years and discuss my death much like God instructed Moses to go up a mountain and die. Friends can ask off each other interesting things. And so far Father and I are having a good one and it's growing. If it's happened before then its up for the taking for anyone that dares believe. You need to decide for yourself what kind of relationship you want to have with Jesus Christ and what you life needs to look like in your old age. We decide now! I'll start updating you on the swimming progress from next week. Someone needs to be encouraged. We need to close our gaps, especially the dark ones where fear resides. For now, let me share how I've been handling 40... - I've decided to personalize it??. #FabulousSaturday #TwasaTalks #BusaLefatsheGirl #ChurchGirlExtraordinaire #AgeOfDisruption #WinningMomentum #Unstoppable

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Her hard work has paid off. It’s hard to imagine the sexy, successful radio personality has been single for two decades. She’s had one relationship in the past 20 years, but things didn’t work out. Twasa would love nothing more than to have a family “but I’m not going to have a child because my biological clock is ticking. A child deserves both parents and I will wait for as long as I can.

“I get asked a lot when I am getting married. I don’t know, but I can’t wait.”

She’s been single for half her life “but just because I’m single doesn’t mean I’m a virgin”, she blushes. “Because I’m a born-again Christian I’m only allowed to have sex after marriage, but I do have a crush.

“Eish this guy doesn’t see he’s my crush, though. I’ll wait, maybe he’ll get it one day because I’m too old-school to ask a guy out.”

She’s no stranger to the dating scene, but Twasa simply hasn’t found Mr Right.

“I’m looking for someone who sees me as an equal,” she says. “A person who wants to see me succeed and doesn’t just see a successful person, someone who wants to build with me and grow old with me.”

She plans to stay celibate until she meets her dream guy.

“Sexual purity is important. I’ve kept my church leaders close to me and they’ve helped to keep me accountable.”

Her faith has always kept her grounded. Eight years ago, Twasa opened up about being raped when she was six years old. “I didn’t know it was rape then, but I realised what it was as an adult and I decided to come out with it for my own healing,” she says.

The experience had long-reaching effects. “It made me angry. I didn’t hate men but for many years I was very competitive with men.”

She sought counselling for her anger issues and her faith also helped her find peace. “Had I not been a religious person, I would’ve been very rebellious.

“I don’t live my life this way because I’m special, but because I’ve always been aware of the power of choice because it comes with consequences,” she says.

“I haven’t given myself the room to misbehave, I don’t find being controversial exciting.”

She’s a stickler for rules but Twasa admits she’s made some bad decisions in the past. “I know when people see me they think boring, goody two-shoes, healthy, perfect, but that’s not always the case. I’ve had some expensive lessons.

“If I was money-wise growing up, I would’ve been further than I am with my life and career. I would have paid off my bond much quicker. I wouldn’t have taken a balloon payment option on my car. But at least I learnt those lessons and ditched the big Mercedes for a smaller vehicle I could afford.”

She’s been doing a lot of introspection after losing her beloved father, “Bra Chips” Seoke, who passed away on 10 April. He was buried on his birthday, 17 April – a few days before Twasa was honoured by her industry peers at the Liberty Radio Awards.

“I wish he was there to see that moment,” she says.

Days before his passing, Twasa visited her father at his sickbed in QwaQwa. “Those 10 days were the best. I got to say my goodbyes. I told him how proud I was of him and how he has done so well in raising his children.

“His passing left me with a unique appreciation for time and who I give my time to.”

Her father has always been her rock. When she was eight, Twasa’s mother, Ntaoleng Seoke, died of natural causes, leaving her father to raise her on his own until he remarried.

It took a village to raise her. “When my mom died, the community stepped in,” Twasa says. “My former teacher taught me how to wear pantyhose and how to choose a bra. Another teacher took over plaiting my hair. My former pastor’s wife taught me how to use sanitary pads, how to stay clean and how to carry myself as a woman. “I was raised by the community.”

When Twasa was 16 her father married her stepmother, Agnes-Manoni Seoke, who she loves like a biological mom. “She’s the only parent I have left, Twasa says. “My parents have lived a good life. I hope to meet a man like my father one day.”