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Off-air with Liesl

Model. Radio and television presenter. Motivational speaker. Former Miss SA. Liesl Laurie-Mthombeni rocks. She is refreshingly down-to-earth, can lip-sync like a pro, is passionate to fight gender-based violence and loves long chats with her pup.

Liesl Lauire-Mthombeni may have handed over her Miss SA crown, but she’s certainly not resting on her laurels. Instead, she’s been making great strides in her career. From becoming a brand ambassador for various beauty brands to shake, rattle and rolling in Dancing with the Stars SA, to playing a cameo role in Legacy SA. And, of course, landing not one, but two gigs on Jacaranda FM. On weekdays you’ll catch her bright and early on the Breakfast with Martin Bester show and Saturdays she hosts the CTM Top 20. Last year she also tied the knot with TV presenter and medical doctor Musa Mthombeni. Glowing and with stars in her eyes, she claims that she is now living her best life.

Liesl shares some interesting tidbits about herself you may not have known.

She is quite the homebody.

I do love to be in PJ’s, messy hair, reading a book, watching a great series or jumping in the pool, catching a tan, and building puzzles. And braai! a huge fave for me and Musa. I would say I’m a 70 per cent homebody and 30 per cent going out. And that would be for date nights, spending time with the fam or going out for dinner with friends.

Liesl wouldn’t mind being a media correspondent for E! Entertainment.

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Imagine! Not only would you get to meet the most incredible celebs but also the most influential people. To be able to interview a mover and shaker like Oprah Winfrey. Or sit down with the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai. That would be a dream come true.

She and Musa recently became dog parents to a hyperactive American bulldog, Cashew.

Ahhh, our new bestie. Even though he looks like a meanie, he is the sweetest, softest baba. He listens so well, and his favourite toy is a big basketball. He does make a run for it when the broom appears though. Weird. Although only four months old, he taught me that I need to have more patience, and playtime is a fun time. Before getting a dog, I would get home, play on my Insta page, watch a series, and not spend as much time outside as I needed to. And with him, I realised I need some more nature in my life and playing outside with him is such fun … and good exercise. We have long chats, mostly about snacks and in typical baby language. Not necessarily understood by anyone but us.

When she turned 30, she waved her long locks goodbye.

I wanted to mark this milestone as a new and exciting chapter in my life. So, I chopped all my hair off, and now have a short pixie do. No, I do not miss my long hair at all. I kinda feel the short hair has brought about a new kind of Liesl – in all the good ways possible. I don’t know if it is a confidence thing or just a new whiff of oomph and excitement.

She’s all about sprinkling joy and kindness.

It’s for free! We always say on the Breakfast Show that you can be crazy as long as you are kind. The world is already so full of people set out to be nasty and spread ugliness. I set out to share a smile, peace, share a hug … ok, Covid, we can’t. But, share a laugh. Just spread joy!

She lip-syncs into a spoon, hairbrush, or anything that can work as a ‘mic’. 

I kid you not. My go-to, fun Liesl moment at any get-together, sleepover and girls’ night out is lip-syncing. I know the words of most songs, especially the popular hits, thanks to the chart show I present every week. But singing out loud? Nah, not so much. Surprisingly, I can and like to sing, but please don’t ask me to do it out loud, let alone on a stage. Just the thought of it makes me want to run away. Maybe one day? Who knows! Hahaha.

Part of her ‘let’s do better in 2022 vibes’ includes reading more and  she recommends these five books.

I’m about to start with Becoming by Michelle Obama. Cannot wait. Four other must-reads are Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks, Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts, Jojo Moyes’ One Plus One and Paul Arden’s It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.

At this moment Cashew is keeping her fit.

I go through waves. At the moment I’m not training like a beast but keeping fit by playing outside with Cashew, taking him for walks or swimming with him in the pool. Sometimes I do some good ol’  skipping with a rope or a go to flow classes – which is like yoga but not necessarily the same. When I’m in fitness mode and mentally ready to try, I do HIIT training, either in a class or with a trainer because I like accountability.

She is not afraid to take a stand against gender-based violence.

Musa and I were part of a big campaign last year called #NoExcuse. This was not only an effort to fight gender-based violence but to challenge the Department of Home Affairs to amend the wedding vows currently used in their office and by marriage officers to include an acknowledgment from the groom to love, protect and never abuse his bride. I feel it is important to speak candidly about this type of ‘pandemic’. I feel that government needs to step up and do better when it comes to the rights of women and when it comes to perpetrators being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Should a person have the courage to come forward to speak up against someone who has done something to them, it should be taken seriously. And they should have the reassurance that something will be done. That the law will follow through. Right now, we as women don’t feel safe, not even to report such incidents, simply because there is no follow-through. On the rare occasion where it does happen, it is so poorly executed. It is heart-breaking to hear the stats of how men go free and how cases are mishandled. A man recently asked me why I don’t ever take a run in the nature reserve right next to our house. I replied, “because I don’t want to be raped and killed.” That response came about without me even thinking because that’s the reality we as women live in. Really … we deserve so much better than living in constant fear. This is something I will tie my voice to forever or until government and the police starts listening to the women of South Africa.

Liesl’s first drink in the morning (to wake-up the metabolism):

You’ll need: ¼ tsp Turmeric; ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper; 20ml Apple Cider Vinegar; 300ml water; dash of lemon juice

How to: Add all the ingredients to the water and give it a good stir. Drink up!

Green detox smoothie:

You’ll need: 2 handfuls spinach; ¼ cup frozen pineapple; 1 banana; 1 Tbsp Spirulina Powder; 1 tsp Turmeric Powder; 1 tsp Maca Powder

How to: Blend all the ingredients together and serve.

Liesl’s ultimate workout playlist:

  1. Flo Rida & Sia – Wild Ones
  2. Martin Bester – Vir Die Liefde
  3. Dj Zinhle – Umlilo
  4. Dua Lipa – Physical
  5. Timbaland ft. Katy Perry – If We   Ever Meet Again
  6. Ami Faku – Love Drunk
  7. Lizzo – Good as Hell
  8. Christina Aguilera – Can’t Hold Us Down
  9. Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself
  10. Sugababes – About You Now
  11. Katy Perry – Unconditionally
  12. Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard   On Yourself
  13. Florence + The Machine – Cosmic Love
  14. Disclosure ft Sam Smith – Latch
  15. Rihanna – Where Have You Been
  16. Jay Z & Linkin Park – Numb
  17. Zakes Bantwini – Osama
  18. Becky Hill & David Guetta – Remember
  19. The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber – Stay
  20. Ariana Grande – No tears left to cry

Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. •Photographer: MANDY STANDER • Make-up: ANNIE B. • Hair: LAJAWI HAIR •Clothing: ZOËT SA

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