Basetsana Kumalo also known as ‘Bassie’ to the majority of South Africans is releasing a memoir in February 2020. Bassie is known as the Soweto beauty who rose to stardom when she became Miss South Africa after her mother entered her in the competition. Crowned in 1994, she then became an ambassador of the country during South Africa’s period of transition. The significance of that moment does not go unremarked in the memoir: Bassie documents the challenges she faced during that crucial time of South Africa’s independence.
Titled ‘Bassie: My Journey of Hope’ the memoir is a compelling read – no subject is off-limits. She shares honest reflections of her life, touching on such delicate subjects as the physical and emotional abuse she endured at the hands of her first boyfriend, middle-weight boxer Dingaan. (He denies these claims.) Basetsana felt compelled to share her story, especially during a time when Gender-Based Violence is still rife in South African society.
She also elaborates on her positive experiences as she has achieved great things as a businesswoman, philanthropist, mother and beauty queen. In the memoir, gives us insight into her relationship with Nelson Mandela, and how he played a huge role in shaping her into who she is today.