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I am a normal woman with emotions: ‘Manaleli Chefa

Nthatuoa Koeshe

WHEN most think of celebrities, they think of the glamourous about how astonishing it would be to meet them in real life, maybe take pictures, and maybe even converse a little.

However, often they do not consider how the celebrities feel.

One such celebrity, ‘Manaleli Chefa, told the Xpress People in a recent interview that there were always challenges hidden in the fame are several problems.

‘Manaleli rose to instant fame last year after a video of her dancing to famo song, Lerato la favour, went viral on social media.

She said she is often caught off-guard when fans find her in a bad mood but nevertheless, they expect her to be her exuberant self all the time.

“I am a woman, and like many others, I have days when I am at my lowest and also have mood swings caused by different emotions, so at times I can’t give people the attention they want me to give them and this always results to a backlash,” ‘Manaleli said.

She said in such instances, the same people then go to social media and attack her.

Born and bred in Maseru Tšenola, in Maseru, ‘Manaleli went to Iketsetseng Primary School and later moved to Lancers Gap High School where she says most of her self-discovery happened.

“I would like to think I was a brilliant child growing up. I have always done different activities which people though were unlike me. People always told me that I was a good-looking girl who had to participate in beauty pageants but my desires were different,” she said

She said her concentration was always on sports such as soccer and athletics although there was little approval from her family.

Meke, as ‘Manaleli is also known, became a social media sensation a year when the video of her dancing to Molepe’s, Lerato la favour.

And besides making her an instant celebrity, ‘Manaleli immediately became a hot product in the local entertainment fraternity with several event organisers booking her to perform the famo dance to entertain audiences.

This however, was never her plan.

“I recorded the video out of fun. I just wanted to dance to a Sesotho. However, after the song blew up and I got excellent reactions, showbiz came knocking on my door.

“In response to the fame, I started making several similar videos which all became instant hits,” she said.

However, her first challenge after all the fame came from one local artiste who threatened to take legal action against her for dancing to her song in videos without his permission.

Although they eventually resolved the issue amicably with the artiste, ‘Manaleli says she learnt the importance of communicating with artistes before performing their music.

“I now get artistes approaching me asking me to promote their tracks and I now always talk to the artistes before performing their music,” she said.

Considering the killings and violence associated with famo music, ‘Manaleli said she was undeterred by the negativity.

“As much as I am unhappy with the killings associated with famo music, I am always positive that they will not affect me because I do not take sides. I dance to any song that I like without taking sides,” she said.

‘Manaleli said since she has started, she has received immense support from some of her family members while some are preferred to sit on the fence.

“I get a lot of support from my mother and other family members and most of my friends. However, some of my family members are unhappy.”

She added that she was thankful to companies such as Aranda who have supported her along with event organisers who keep booking her.

“I am also very thankful to my social media followers for their love and support. They are the reason I am here and they are the ones who made me who I am,” ‘Manaleli said.

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