Lalla Hirayama Biography: Family Life, Career and Relationships

The TV presenter and actress has the world at her feet.

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:43 PM  | Lalla Hirayama  | Top of The

Lalla Hirayama is one of South Africa’s most loved TV personalities.

An actress, model, TV presenter, style icon and all-round beauty, Lalla, who has been nicknamed Ninja, has a special place in Mzansi’s heart.

This is her biography.

Lalla’s Early Family Life


Born on 10 February in Hiratsuka in Japan, Lalla is an only child to her parents – her mother, Itsuko Hirayama, is Japanese, and her father Lance Cooper, a White South African.

Because of her parents’ religion (Lalla has said her father is Jewish), she grew up in a household where she was exposed to different religions, including Judaism, Shinto, Christianity and Buddhism.

Although she spent the first few years of her life in Japan and Australia, Lalla was six-years-old when she moved to South Africa with her family – a place she now calls home.

During her primary school years, Lalla was very athletic and even became a Junior Horse Riding Champion.

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Before starting high school, Lalla took a break for a year and moved back to Japan to teach dance class. When she returned for high school in South Africa, she also got involved with dance training.

In 2019, Lalla surprised her mom with a new car, and decided to mix business with pleasure, when she surprised her mom with a two-month trip to Japan. Lalla was working as a SuperSport correspondent for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and decided her mom would be the perfect travel companion.

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The trip was also an escape for the duo, as Lalla initiated court proceedings against her father, who she alleged was abusive towards her, her mother and her elderly grandfather. She also accused her father of trying to destroy her career.

Lalla’s Career Off With A Bang


Lalla made her TV debut as a presenter on the popular kids show Craz-E on eTV.

This after school show introduced Lalla to millions of kids around Mzansi, and her infectious laugh and on-screen personality was enough for her to get head hunted a few years later.

She joined SABC 1 as a continuity presenter and a brand ambassador. She also started acting in the eTV soapie Rhythm City and on Axe Dark Angels.

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Lalla’s danced professionally and in 2006 she established Clinch City Entertainment (ACC) – an events company. It was also at this time that she started dancing for some of South African’s biggest musicians including Lebo Mathosa, she performed with Skwatta Kamp and made her debut in music videos for Idols judge Unathi and Loyiso Bala.

It wasn’t long before Lalla joined DStv’s VUZU family – a brand new channel aimed at a younger audience. She joined the channel as a TV presenter for the show Scar Tissue and this was followed by a long-running stint on V Entertainment, which introduced Lalla to African TV audience.

At the same time, Lalla was also acting on a SABC 1 soapie Zone 14 and joined the reality TV show Tropica Island of Treasure. She co-presented the reality show’s third season, which saw Lalla travel to Thailand for the show’s recording.

For two years running, Lalla was named as one of the world’s sexiest women by the popular magazine FHM, and in 2009 she was also featured in the magazine’s calendar.

Lalla’s off-duty style and red carpet appearances have made her a favourite on fashionable stars, and she’s won Glamour magazine’s Most Glamorous Award, the Best Innovative Style award at the annual South African Style Awards and was crowned Most Stylish at the G4 Sports Awards.

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As a fashion maven, Lalla became the face of Legit in 2014, launching key fashion items for young women. She also stepped behind the judges table, and joined an impressive line-up of judges for SA’s Got Talent.

In 2016, as the face of M-Net Movies, Lalla’s show Lalla Land debuted - she travels the world, interviewing the hottest actors in the world.

And in 2018, Lalla scored the ultimate gig - as the red-carpet host for M-Net’s Academy Awards special. She travelled to Los Angeles for the glittering affair, where she interviewed Hollywood’s hottest stars on the red carpet.

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Lalla’s Love Life


Lalla was in a relationship with Chris Nkosi, a club promoter, for five years.

The couple always attended red carpet events and were seen at all the hottest parties around town. They even shared an Instagram account.

Rumours of Chris being unfaithful surfaced, which allegedly ended their long-term relationship in 2016.

In 2019, when gender-based violence became a hot topic in South Africa, Lalla was called out by comedian Jason Goliath, for allegations that Chris was violent to other. She released her statement on Twitter, alleging how Chris had been emotionally and verbally abusive towards her, during the course of their relationship.

After her relationship with Chris ended, Lalla was in a relationship with the fitness coach Matthew Evans. But after going public, their relationship fizzled out, with Lalla saying “it wasn’t right”.

Luckily, Lalla has found love again. She’s been in a committed relationship with Kent Blake Henderson for several months, and the couple are keeping their relationship very private.

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But occasionally they do share pictures of each other.

With all of her international travels and meeting the biggest stars in movies, the future is bright for Lalla's career.

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Main image credit: kasi365