‘Cried the whole time’ Oti Mabuse details emotional family reunion

Oti Mabuse says she had to ‘separate’ mum from WhatsApp

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Appearing on Morning Live to speak about her new BBC documentary My South Africa, Oti Mabuse touched on being reunited with her family once again. Discussing her trip with the two presenters, she revealed that her loved ones had no idea she was going to see them after being unable to fly out during covid restrictions for three years.

Touching on the documentary, Oti shared that when the BBC first approached her on going to South Africa, she was extremely excited.

The former Strictly star confessed she jumped at the opportunity as she got to showcase her country and see her family again.

In the show, which aired earlier this month, viewers got to watch the 32-year-old return to her childhood home and see the places and people that inspired her to be a dancer.

However, Oti decided not to tell her family she was going to be paying them all a visit and decided to keep it a complete surprise.

Morning Live’s Sam Quek mentioned that the professional dancer hadn’t seen her family for the first time in three years before asking what it was like being reunited.

Oti replied: “That honestly, the three years were the worse three years I would say of my life. It happened over Covid and then we had the strain of Omicron breakout so it elongated that.

“But, to see them for the first time, I think that we just cried, the whole family we just all cried!

“I also surprised them so they didn’t know I was coming. Just to embrace them and to hold them and to physically see them in the eyes, that for me was really special.”

Presenter Gethin Jones asked Oti how her mum responded to her shock visit with the star admitting she was speechless.

She added: “My mum was shocked! She was really really shocked, she was like, ‘I can’t believe it.’

“I had been talking to her the whole time, right until I walked into the house so she was really really surprised.

“My mum isn’t as emotional as I am, so she was just like [mouth wide open] the whole time.”

The former Strictly pro mentioned that her sister, Phemelo, had a feeling she’d come over and described them both as being very similar.

Although Gethin commented that it’s remarkable she’s not a dancer in the Mabuse family, Oti quickly corrected him.

She said: “She was one! And she was the best out of the three of us. She just is also really smart, she’s a mechanical engineer.

“She’s the only one who does what she does in the country in her field. But yeah, she chose brains!”

Oti hung up her dancing shoes this year as she made the decision to leave the BBC competition after seven years.

Although the 32-year-old has dominated TV screens this year as she’s turned to judging and presenting with roles on Dancing on Ice, Romeo and Duet and The Masked Dancer.

Oti Mabuse: My South Africa is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Morning Live continues weekdays on BBC One from 9:15am.

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