Motsi Mabuse looking stern

Motsi Mabuse on ‘traumatising’ upbringing in South Africa: ‘Survival of the fittest’

Motsi and sister Oti grew up in South Africa

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Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse – who is on The Great Celebrity Bake Off on Sunday, June 2 – once opened up about her upbringing in South Africa.

Motsi, 43, who is sister to dancer Oti Mabuse, opened up about her upbringing back in 2022.

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Bake Off star Motsi Mabuse on ‘traumatising’ upbringing

During an interview with The Big Issue back in 2022, Motsi opened up about her difficult childhood in South Africa.

“At 16, I was living in Pretoria, and we had just moved from a black area to a very white area. South Africa was open, so black people were allowed to move into certain parts and my parents were always against boundaries, so they pushed those limits,” she said.

She then continued, saying: “They wanted a better life for their kids. That was the aim, but it also meant we moved into a very hostile area. Our parents wanted us to be safe, which meant if we wanted to visit friends they would need to drive us. Because if we got the bus, big white boys would attack us.”

Motsi Mabuse on Would I Lie To You
Motsi had

Bake Off star Motsi Mabuse on ‘survival of the fittest’

The star then continued, saying that getting into dancing gave her the opportunity to “shine”.

“It was about survival of the fittest. Dancing was a way for me to not just exist but to shine. I’ve always had that need to shine. And because of the situation around me in South Africa at the time, there was just not the opportunity. With dancing, I built my own stage,” she said.

Last March, Motsi opened up about how her brother’s death led to the family being shunned.

“He killed himself with a poison. And because the people of Africa are very religious and superstitious, something bad arose in our neighbourhood. With the suicide of Neo, our family was seen as one where there was a negative energy,” she told the Mirror.

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New chapter for Motsi and her husband

In April, Motsi revealed that she and husband Evgenij Voznyuk had moved from their home in Germany.

Motsi shared some clips of the memories they shared together in the house.

“Memories, memories, memories. End of a chapter and starting a new one,” she captioned the post.

“24 years in Germany and we finally bought our dream house and in those 24 years we have built a life together. We leave this house with beautiful memories,” she then continued.

Motsi’s daughter was one when they first moved into the house.

“We were new parents navigating everything at once, we spend our first Christmas with her here during the pandemic, we look back and remind ourselves what a long journey we have travelled and look forward to a new road,” she said.

Read more: Oti Mabuse addresses baby number two as sister Motsi urges: ‘Just do it and you’re done!’

The Great Celebrity Bake Off airs on Sunday, June 2 at 7pm on Channel 4. 

Motsi Mabuse's Strictly Screw Up | Would I Lie To You?

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer