On March 29 1974, Basetsana Julia Kumalo , a game changer in the South African media industry was born. She is recognised for holding the country’s famous crown, setting up a business empire, giving back to the community and a powerful celebrity marriage attended by Nelson Mandela.
Basetsana has made a huge contribution to the South African entertainment industry and country at large and our conversation today is all about this queen.
The iconic businesswoman and former TV presenter has a long career spanning from being crowned Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa at the age of 16 to reigning as Miss South Africa in 1994.
From there on Basetsana grew into a jack of all trades and a master of all too, with an expansion into producing Top Billing under Tswelopele Productions, sitting on powerful executive boards, owning a clothing range, eyewear, cosmetic line as well as interests in property and mining.
If this does not define her as a business powerhouse what else can? Her success story is not complete without mentioning several prestigious awards Bassie has won over the years including the Fashion Icon of the year award and City Press Prestige Award for her dominance in the industry.
Together with husband Romeo Kumalo, Basetsana has largely contributed to supporting children orphaned by parents who died of HIV and AIDS or any other related illnesses through their Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo Foundation.
Born and raised in Soweto, Basetsana defied odds to become a living South African legend who has not only broke many records.
We can go on the whole day highlighting Basetsana’s story but we can never exhaust her achievements over the years. She is one person we can always look up to when the need for inspiration rises.
Bassie’s drive and resilience saw her grow into more than just a beauty queen but a business icon with a well spread out empire to show for it.
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Main image credit: Instagram/@BasetsanaKumalo