Johannesburg - Londie London has worked hard over the years to establish herself as an entertainer during her various stints as a musician, actress and even a jewellery designer.
But for the acclaimed local celebrity, being a reality television star was something completely out of her comfort zone.
As one of the newest additions to The Real Housewives of Durban’s season two cast, the wife and mother, whose real name is Londiwe Siphiwokuhle Zulu, was thrilled to take the plunge.
“Being an artist is quite similar to being a reality TV star because both are 24-hour jobs, but I found that being on the show was challenging. You have to spend time getting to know women that all have big personalities while millions of people watch,” she told The Saturday Star this week.
“It’s been a roller-coaster, but more than anything, it’s been fun.”
London, together with Thobile Mseleku and Jojo Robinson, join The Real Housewives of Durban for season two, set to debut on Showmax next Friday, with new episodes airing every Friday.
London, as well as the other two new additions, will be joined by season one regulars Annie Ludick, Nonkanyiso Conco, Nonku Williams, Sorisha Naidoo and Mabusi Seme.
Season one of The Real Housewives of Durban was a roaring success as it broke records on Showmax and has screened in 28 territories outside of Africa.
London expects season two to also be a hit as she applauded the cast’s dynamics and the show’s quality.
“The production is really amazing, and the ladies were really picked well because we are all different, and we each connect with a different crowd of people.”
The 29-year-old explained that she decided to join the latest cast of The Real Housewives of Durban when she returned to the city from Johannesburg with her businessman husband Hlubi Nkosi and 10-month-old baby boy Uminathi.
“My reason for agreeing to join the show was because of my new journey of becoming a mom and a wife in Durban. I felt like I am aligned with what the show is about, and it seemed like a great opportunity and platform to share my life.”
She also wanted to use The Real Housewives of Durban to re-brand herself.
“Since I've become a wife and a mother, I thought it would be a great idea for the public to see how I’m re-branding myself,” she explained.
“People know me as this sexy singer, and I feel like they don't really know my personality and what I'm about outside of the entertainment industry."
London added that while her loved ones were initially shocked about her decision to join the show, they are now excited to see her share her life with South Africans.
“My husband is not a person that likes to be in the public eye: we are the total opposite, so he was a bit sceptical and uncomfortable with being on camera, but he’s happy about it now. My mom is technically part of the show, so she was like, ‘By default, I’m also a housewife’,” London joked.
She is also proud of Durban and wanted to use the show to showcase what the city has to offer.
She also believes The Real Housewives of Durban has its own energy, which sets it apart from the Johannesburg and international versions of the show.
“Durban has its own different vibe. There’s something authentic and fresh about this city. It’s very cultural, and the people in it are very much connected to their roots and where they come from, so that combination of glam and drama is what I call entertainment.”
But the real appeal of The Real Housewives of Durban lies in its cast, with the show’s season two director Thumeka Hlotshana describing London as “oozing class and confidence”.
“She is relatable and honest when the moment calls for it, especially about the things that matter.”
London believes she adds an element of youthfulness and fun to the group.
“I think I bring some sassiness and fashion looks, of course, and I'm just fun and I'm funny.”
London said she enjoyed creating a bond with other women and that she got along well with all the ladies, but some more than others.
“We are all quite different, but I like LaConco because she’s more outspoken and just comfortable with being herself. Sorisha is teaching me how to be a calm person, and Annie is just herself and a very outspoken woman.”
London also admitted that not all was smooth sailing when it came to putting The Real Housewives of Durban together.
“Well, obviously, when the show was starting, we were still shooting episodes one and two, so there were awkward moments here and there. I wouldn’t say we didn’t gel. Nonku and I had a bit of a rough start, but we’re good now.
While being on season two of The Real Housewives of Durban has given London the platform to re-brand herself and share her life with South Africans, she also described it as a learning experience.
“I learnt so much about myself while shooting for the show, and the experience was really amazing with the ladies, so I hope it communicates the same on-screen.”
Her advice for those who are interested in reality television is to simply “be yourself”.
“Be mentally ready to stand for your truth and have fun.”