Bonang Matheba undoubtedly has one of the biggest celebrity brands in South Africa.
Her brand is worth millions, with companies lining up to work with her.
The 31-year-old is fiercely protective of her celebrity profile and tries to avoid tainting her brand with drama at all costs – well, that used to be the case.
These days Bonang is not afraid to take on her haters, which is a good thing, but it can sometimes backfire.
Here’s a look at how Queen B is ditching her “good girl” image.
Bonang has been dropping the f-bomb a lot these days. She recently told entertainment commentator Phil Mphela, “Go f**k yourself! Honestly” after he slammed her for suing a local tabloid. A few weeks prior, Queen B told author Jackie Phamotse to “f**k off” when she used one of her quotes on Twitter.
Bonang’s friend Basetsana Kumalo took Jackie to court for a controversial tweet about a media mogul’s husband being involved in a sex trap – which explains why Queen B was not impressed with the author. South Africa’s media darling ignored the haters in the past, but she is clapping frequently these days.
Bonang has worked hard to get where she is, so she could be excused for displaying some diva behaviour now and again. But her reality show, Being Bonang, revealed a side of Queen B not many are used to. In season one of the show, Bonang refused to be seated in the same marquee as the “other girls” at the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo in Cape Town last year.
“When you go to a polo match it is very important where you sit because you want to see what is happening. So we were very specific in terms of where we sat – and who sat with us,” Bonang said on the show. Viewers pointed out that her former bestie, Somizi, was seated in the area.The Sunday Sun claimed she was banned to this year’s event after the “tantrum” she threw over 2017 seating arrangements. Bonang was also slammed for “flossing” too much on the show.
Controversial relationship with AKA
AKA and Bonang are stale news now but their relationship caused a lot of controversy when it started. DJ Zinhle, the mother of AKA’s daughter, accused him of cheating with Bonang while she was pregnant in 2015. Bonang denied the allegations and threated to sue Zinhle if she did not retract her statements.
Several months later AKA and Bonang were pictured getting cozy and soon confirmed their relationship. AKA would go on to admit the affair and publicly apologise to Zinhle – with whom he is now on friendly terms again. Being a homewrecker was not a good look for brand Bonang.
Risky PR stunts
During her relationship with AKA, the couple staged a break-up in 2017 as part of a publicity stunt to promote the rapper’s single,Caiphus Song.
“We were watching the whole thing unfold and couldn’t wait for it to be Tuesday already. It’s exciting watching a plan come together. I knew that a lot of journalists would just take anything we tweeted as gospel and not really do any proper investigating. We knew people would do our job for us,” AKA told The Plug shortly after the stunt.
Queen B’s fans were shocked that she would take part in such a risky stunt. Brand Bonang survived the backlash.
Burning her bridges
Bonang famously quit Metro FM’s Front Row in 2017, shortly after Lerato Kganyago made her debut as a co-host. The 31-year-old claimed that the station only informed her about the line-up changes an hour before they went on air. Some accused Queen B of refusing to share the spotlight with Lerato, but she denied her resignation had anything to do with her co-host and she leaving as a matter of “principle”.
Bonang was accused of being a liar after TimesLIVE reported it was in possession of WhatsApp messages that proved that the station made numerous attempts to meet with her to discuss the new line-up. “Management is angry. She refused to say anything about Lerato and just said there was ‘misalignment’. Then she denies any knowledge of the meetings. She has burnt her bridges this time,” a source from the SABC told the publication.