One of the country’s biggest names in entertainment, Kelly Khumalo started her career at the age of 21 and skyrocketed to success.
Life With Kelly Khumalo is the newest Showmax original title, which follows Kelly as she goes about her everyday life – a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend, giving viewers a glimpse into her life away from the spotlight.
Speaking to reporters from her home in Johannesburg, Kelly is in her bedroom and acknowledges the challenging times we are living in amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the global fight for equality and racial justice. She says: “We are living in unusual times, but we have faith and we thank God for that,” adding that the being at home has allowed her to spend more time with her family and to nurture close relationships.
As viewers get an intimate view of Kelly’s private life off stage and underneath the fanciness, she points out how ironic, albeit bittersweet, it is that the show’s release coincides with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are all currently living in a time when we have been stripped of everything that is glitz and glamour and everything that has clouded who we are.”
She adds: “We’ve been given a chance to start over and given a chance to deal with who we are. And there’s no time left to sweep things under the carpet. It’s time to face ourselves.”
Throughout her career, Kelly has sold millions of albums, opened for Grammy Award-winning artist Missy Elliot and racked up over 1.7 million followers on Instagram alone.
But she says that now, in 2020, was the right time to share her truth, and tell her story in her own words. “I don’t even think this was my choice. I think it was divine intervention.”
For 17 years, I’ve had people speak about me and spread stories about me, yet it’s people who don’t know me at all. People don’t even know my story. And I felt this time around, it’s time that I tell my story in my own voice,” she says.
In recent years, the singer has made tabloid headlines for more than just her talent, including her turbulent relationship with her son’s father, Jub Jub, the death of her daughter’s father, Senzo Meyiwa, and the recent conflict with her sister, Zandie.
“Let’s be clear about the purpose of the reality show. Life With Kelly Khumalo is not about addressing people; this is me living my truth. I have never been, or will never be, at a place where I will feel the need to address people. This is about me, and my journey and I hope to inspire people through sharing my truth,” she explains.
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Not only will Life With Kelly Khumalo centre on the singer, but we will also meet Kelly’s inner circle – her children, mother, friends and producers. “Everything, and everyone that is part of my life you will see,” she says.
According to Kelly, the overarching theme of the show is healing, although she will also be discussing spirituality and motherhood.
“When people think of healing, they think it’s a walk in the park, and they have a perfect picture in their minds of what healing is. But healing is messy, and healing is painful when you are reliving and confronted with the past,” she explains.
Kelly says that the cameras in no way filtered her words, or impacted her actions.
“I live my truth, no matter how good or bad that might be. I thrive in my reality. I thrive in my truth,” she says.
The 35-year-old mother of two says that although she is hoping to inspire viewers, she has found comfort in the filming process, saying: “The reality show has somehow healed me.”
She says: “I’ve found healing through confronting what’s been swept under the carpet.”
“I think people have a perception of me being this strong person who never falls apart. And what people will learn about me is that I find strength in falling apart. And I am one of those people who will allow themselves to break,” she adds.
Kelly says that people will be able to relate to her and learn from her past experiences, saying: “If you are on a journey of spirituality, a journey of healing, or if you’ve experienced childhood trauma or domestic violence, then this show is for you.”