Having first stepped into the limelight back in 2002, when she was crowned Miss Jam Alley, Lerato Kganyago has been working her butt off for 15 years. Although recognition of her craft in the form of a nomination at a prestigious awards show has only come now, it doesn’t make her nomination any less sweeter.
Our very own @leratokganyago has been nominated at #SAFTAs12 under the category "Best Presenter" for Live Amp.— Live Amp (@liveamp) February 2, 2018
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Let's bring this one home! 🏆#LiveAmp pic.twitter.com/VnEpG3igvP
Kganyago is currently in the running for the position of South Africa’s favourite TV presenter against the likes of Siv Ngesi, Tumelo Mothotoane and Tumi Morake. This category is voted for by the public so it will be a clear reflection of how they really feel about their presenters. Past winners include the likes of Thembisa Mdoda and Katlego Maboe.
We had a quick chat with LKG about her nomination, her outspoken social media persona and her favourite media personalities in the game right now. Take a look:
1. It has officially been just under two years since joining Live. Despite all the work you have done as a presenter over the years, do you feel as though people are starting to understand the LKG style of presenting without having to make the unnecessary comparisons?
“I think they’ve always understood, I think they’ve always known what I’m about… I think yes, some people are starting to understand my presenting style partly what I’m about and who is LKG from the LKG show to The Link to what I’m doing right now which is Live Amp.”
2. What was the first thing that went through your mind when you saw your name on the nominee list?
“I was still on air with Dineo and my phone just started buzzing and I was wondering what is going on, why all of a sudden is my phone and my Twitter feed going crazy and then I saw it… I was extremely overwhelmed because the SAFTAs is a big deal, it’s not like all the other award shows.”
“When we talk about the SAFTAs, we’re talking about people who show appreciation and recognize hard work and artists with regards to film & television. So, it was a huge honor for me… You know, I’ve been saying that a nomination for me is already a big win because finally the film & television industry is recognizing my work and my contribution to the industry.”
All these years without nominations at such a level made Lerato do a lot of introspection.
“You know, there was a time when I would question, like “geez, there’s a lot of people that have come before me that are walking away with awards, like what does this mean? What am I doing wrong?” But also, this could mean that you’re not doing anything wrong and that they’re just taking their time in recognizing what you’re doing. Maybe they’ve been recognizing your work and they’re just waiting for the right time...”
3. Has the public also started to look to you as more of a music authority?
“You know what’s lovely? They actually haven’t forgotten the other side of me. There are still people who mention the LKG show, who ask when the LKG show is coming back… people who recognize the fashion side and ask when The Link is coming back and I think people are starting to see that I am actually very diverse. You can put me anywhere and I’m going to fit in perfectly.”
She doesn’t want to put herself in a box but she is also cognisant of what her shortcomings are.
“I definitely wouldn’t even try news reading, I know that’s not my forte…”
4. As someone who is so vocal on social media and stands up for herself regularly, what is your take on the view that celebrities are just supposed to quietly take the abuse that anonymous keyboard thugs dish out?
“This is how I see it, we’ve got a lot of young people that look up to us right… there’s a lot of young people and even older people that look up to Lerato as an individual so what example am I setting if I allow the bullying to happen?”
“When I respond to SOMETIMES, is to show people that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself, not just on social media but in life in general. You need to put your foot down if you disagree with something. Put your foot down and be vocal about it. Specifically women in the entertainment industry because I feel like we’re bullied the most. In any other industry actually, we have to work 10 times harder to gain the respect. Sometimes when you keep quiet, you’re saying ‘ bullying is okay’ and that’s not what you want to teach young people.”
5. Would you ever consider a block appeal process for those who are reformed and wish to be let out of block exile?
“[laughs] my block button broke, it doesn’t unblock, it blocks only…”
The DJ went on to share that she has unblocked a few people but some of them begged to be unblocked only to return to their abusive ways with a vengeance. She reiterates however, that if people are sincere and wish to be unblocked, she will consider it.
6. You speak a lot about celebrating others’ success, whose growth in the entertainment industry have you enjoyed seeing? Maybe a top 3…?
“Pearl Modiadie, Nandi Mngoma… Shooo! There’s plenty! And Ntando Duma… She somehow reminds me of me. Trying to break into the industry, trying to show people what you’re about. You know people give her a hard time but she just keeps pushing and keeps her eye on the prize.”
7. Any hints as to what your 2018 plans are?
“I’m so tempted to reveal but I can only reveal it in the next couple of days. There’s something exciting that I’m going to be doing. There are a lot of things that are lined up for me this year and I think it’s going to be another great year for Lerato.”
So keep your eyes on her timeline (and ours) and try not to catch this block!
Main image credit: Instagram.com/leratokganyago by @urbankreativesa