South 2 North

The cost of fame

South2North meets some inspiring people who overcome the odds to reach for the stars.

No subject is off limits in the first ever global talk show hosted from Africa in which Redi Tlhabi talks frankly to inspiring and intriguing personalities from across the world.

This week on South2North we talk about inspirational people; men and women who overcome enormous challenges and spend their lives in the limelight. But can the cost of fame sometimes be too high?
Nicky Abdinor, a clinical psychologist, was born without arms and uses her experiences and knowledge to share her story as a motivational speaker. Here, she talks about the continuing stigma and preconceptions around disability:

“I think there’s a huge misconception that if there’s something wrong with your body that there’s something wrong with your mind. And I still, today, get people, if I’m walking with a friend for instance, and someone will look at my friend and say “Are you her sister?” You know this idea that I couldn’t possibly have a friend, they must be related to me because that’s the only reason they would hang out with me. And people won’t talk directly to me,” she says.

Also joining Redi are musicians Vicus Visser and his brother Vincent. A video of the then 10-year-old Vicus singing and playing the guitar went viral on YouTube in 2010, resulting in a worldwide search to find the charming young boy with the golden voice. Redi caught up with them for an interview right before they jetted off to Washington DC. They performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on February 10 to represent their country in a tribute concert to Nelson Mandela and Dr Martin Luther King Junior for Black History Month.

The brothers talk about growing up in a poor and sometimes violent home, and how their music helped them get through:

“You don’t want other people to know your problems, what’s happening in your house. So back then … there were shows when we had to perform at six o’clock, [and at] half-past five my father is still beating us and he’s scratching the place up. Then we just had to get our clothes ready and move and run away from the house and go to talent shows. And when you come to the show people are so happy, they’re in the mood to party then you’re sitting there with that memory in the back of your head, you don’t know what to expect when you go home … That was the world that you lived in because that was your happy moment, because after that you have to go back to reality.”

Also joining South2North is Kenny Wizz, a man who has dedicated his life to impersonating possibly one of the most recognised and famous musicians of all time, Michael Jackson. Wizz explains why he loves what he does; he talks about how people have reacted to him since Jackson’s death; and he shares some words of wisdom with Vicus and Vincent.

Wizz also explains his transformation into Michael Jackson for his show:

“I’m a make-up artist myself, so, the make-up is a part of the costume … and a part of the character, which is the role that I play. I’m basically a performing actor, so when I take it off no one knows who I am, I’m just a normal guy and you’d never recognise me or anything,” he says.


South2North can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.