Making waves

She’s witty, stylish, makes her own sauces and we can listen to her voice for hours. Philicity Reeken of Allen’s Nek chats about her career in radio, the dating scene and staying beautiful beyond 40.

There is really nothing Philicity can’t do. She is a radio presenter, talented actress, singer, incredible mom, cook, and a booming businesswoman. Her latest venture is keeping listeners entertained on the Scenic Drive on Jacaranda FM for the past three months. Before that, she co-hosted the 947 Breakfast Xpress for four years. You may also know her from Isidingo, Scandal, Song vir Katryn, Jozi H, Binnelanders, Great Expectations, Coconuts, and Survivor South Africa: The Maldives in 2011.

A natural comedian, Philicity was bound to captivate crowds with her witty sense of humour. She wanted to be in the entertainment industry her whole life but her career only took off after she became a mother.

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‘I was only seven years old when I fell in love with acting and I was lucky enough to attend an art school where I studied acting. I thought I was very smart when I was 17 and quit school, got a waitress job and started my short-lived singing career. When I got married, I left the industry to become a mom, but that wasn’t the life for me. My daughter was about a year old when I called an agent again and just like that I got the role in Isidingo that changed my life.’

She is now the mother of two teenage daughters and can always depend on her own mother. Philicity was a very difficult teenager, and is very thankful that her own daughters didn’t inherit her temper and teenage tantrums.

‘I’m so blessed to have two angels as my daughters. They are smart, independent and very mature. They know that no matter what happens in life, you should always look on the bright side and laugh about it. That’s my philosophy in life – there’s a time and a place for everything, but never stop laughing.

‘I have an appreciation for all forms of art. When I was in art school, I was exposed to so many different types of art and I feel inspired by all of them. When I was little, I used to read a lot, and that cultivated my imagination. Creating art is a form of freedom.’

Don’t deprive yourself. Eat and drink what you want. Dress as you want and follow your dreams! Depriving yourself won’t make you live any longer.

Philicity has recently worked on a digital project called Deur die Blare that won first place in its category at the kykNET Silwerskermfees. When she’s not making waves on the radio or screen, she spends her time in the kitchen or in her herb garden, perfecting her range of sauces.

‘I was going through a tough spot financially a while back and I had to get a new source of income. I love cooking and I love sauces, so I thought why not make my own sauces. Phil’s Saucy Sauces has been a big hit ever since. I make all the sauces myself, using ingredients from my garden and I sell them on markets. These sauces are very creamy and luxurious, and every foodie’s dream.’

When Philicity sets her mind to something, she does everything in her power to realise her goals. That’s what makes her successful in all aspects of her life.

‘Going forward, I want to do charity work, bringing young and old together. We have elderly people with tons of wisdom in old age homes and we have children that don’t get the attention or intellectual stimulation they need. Why not bring these two together? The older generation has a lot to teach the young ones and in turn, they can teach the elderly people a lot about life too and keep them young at heart.’

In between everything Philicity travels a lot (we wonder if she ever sleeps). She is lucky that her job gives her the chance to travel and she always grabs these opportunities with both hands, taking in the beautiful sights of new cities and getting to know other cultures.

‘Don’t even get me started on the food … I love experiencing new flavours. I still want to travel the world with my daughters. I want to see Africa because we live on this beautiful continent, but rarely visit the beautiful places on our own doorstep. I want to see Zambia, Mozambique and Morocco one day.’

Philicity has been divorced for quite some time and is yet to find someone she can share her dreams with. She says that the struggle is real and that the dating scene brings many challenges.

‘I want to ask Joburg men to try harder when it comes to women. I’ve tried Tinder and all that dating apps and websites, but they don’t work for me. I don’t want to message ten guys a day and talk about how their day is going. I have friends for that and I don’t need more friends. I feel that it’s about quantity and not quality anymore. I want someone to laugh and eat with. I’m looking for someone who can carry me through hard times and someone I can carry as well.’

Like her personality, Philicity’s style is very quirky. ‘I love to dress according to themes. Some days I wake up and feel like an inspector or an art curator, and then I’ll dress the part. I love dressing up because I love who I am. I’m at a place in my life where I like my body and I don’t want to hide it from the world. I’ll dress how I want.’

October is her birth month, so she confessed that her beauty secret for looking fabulous at 40 is good genes and a lot of smiling.

‘Don’t deprive yourself. Eat and drink what you want. Dress as you want and follow your dreams! Depriving yourself won’t make you live any longer.’

Philicity in short:
What sauce are you? I’m a combination of my own garlic sauce, green Tabasco and a bit of hot chilli for that extra kick.
If you could go back in time, what message would you give yourself? I’d tell myself to do everything the same.
Who is your celebrity crush? I’m inspired by a lot of people, but I’d die if I heard Vin Diesel saying my name (won’t we all?).

Text: JACO-MARI FUTCHER. Photographer: JACO BOTHMA. Hair and make-up: ELAINE BOSHOFF. Venue: BLACK EAGLE BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Kimono: TANIA SUTHERLAND.

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