GERRY RANTSELI-ELSDON
February 12, 2015
New African Woman Interview
February 12, 2015

The media personality on marriage, long lunches and laughing your ass off

I am … a warm bubble of mommy energy.
Where were you born? District Six, Cape Town.
Where do you live? Northcliff.
Who do you share your house with? My husband, Kerry, and nephew Giovanni, 21. I also have a foster daughter called Pri, 19. Then there’s Lerato, 23, who came to visit Pri and ended up staying with us. My husband and I decided to make our home a place of safety so we also have Mpho, 2, and Ayanda, 1, living with us until Johannesburg Child Welfare finds them a home.
How did you get into your career? I was discovered dancing on a table. I was 19 and at Kippies, Hugh Masekela was playing, he had a particular protocol for when he played that people must sit down and listen to the music. I think I got to the point of saturation and started dancing on the table. It was that night that somebody asked if I wouldn’t consider being on TV and I said yes.
After having TB in my womb … I went to see the best doctors in the world. I’ve now accepted that if I have children of my own, it will happen if it’s meant to.
If you could give advice to your 21-year-old self what would it be? Have more fun.
What’s your greatest extravagance? I don’t have extravagances. I budget for my Vuitton and I’m not a regular shopper.
What’s your most treasured possession? My husband. He’s a catch-and-a-half. He’s a great provider for his family and a wonderful man.
I’m predisposed to … waking up late. I hate waking up early in the morning.
What’s your favourite building in Joburg? The City Hall.
What’s the ugliest thing about Joburg? The street vendors at robots.
What is the most memorable moment you’ve had in Joburg? The day I arrived in 1989 on a Greyhound bus. I remember the bus coming into Joburg towards Park Station and I was blown away by its expanse.
I can’t go a day without … laughing. But not just mild laughter. I have a very funny family, so I literally laugh my ass off.
What CDs are you playing in your car? I listen to Kaya FM all day.
If your house caught fire what would you save? If my family was safe, I would go for my vintage clothes.
What are your creature comforts? My bed and a good DVD. I also love lying on my bed reading while my husband lies on my belly.
What are you reading? The Bone Vault by Linda Fairstein. I love investigative escapism or a story that involves a gun and has a dramatic chase.
When I go out at night … I aim not to come home before 3am but it never works out that way.
I always collect … vintage dresses. I’ve been collecting vintage since the age of 14.
My friends and I like … long afternoon lunches after not seeing each other for a long time. Everyone has all types of wheat-free, sugar-free things. No one minds getting the bill because nobody actually ate anything substantial. I bet everyone drives by McDonald’s straight afterwards.
Perfect happiness is: Being surrounded by family. No one is trying to see the label or size on your clothes.
Have you ever taken public transport in Joburg? When I first moved here and when I started working at the SABC, I used to take the bus.
Everything in moderation but … love and sex.
I met my partner … when his daughter came to South Africa and was looking to do charity work. We were buddies who became a couple.
If money could buy happiness … we would use it as drugs and abuse it.

Loves&hates

Running: It’s my time to meditate. But I do it with a full face of make-up and diamond earrings.
Sleep: The older you get, the more you need.
Being with family: It’s my recharger.
Seeing people in pain: The counsellor in me will always show herself.
Being lied to: I really do take people at their word.
Being idle: For all the reasons my mom warned me about how idle people get up to mischief.
Lumpy custard: It’s horrible. Hence it’s the only thing I never cook at home.

MY LITTLE BLACK BOOK

The Butcher Shop and Grill, Nelson Mandela Square, 011 784 8676
It’s got the best ribs ever.
Melrose Arch, 011 684 0000
Even in winter it’s got great places where one can sit in the sun.
Socrati, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, 011 784 1174
They always keep size three-and-a-half shoes for me.
Taboo, 24 Central, cnr Fredman Drive and Gwen Lane, Sandton, 011 783 2217
We love it for a great night out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>