Former Miss South Africa turned media mogul Basetsana Kumalo has been labelled rude, among other things, after an old interview with Zozibini Tunzi resurfaced.
The interview was an exercise as part of Tunzi and her co-contestant Daniel Mpilo Richards’ training during their time in the Presenter Search on 3 competition.
Kumalo, who co-owns the production company responsible for the shows and also serves as a judge in the competition, served as the pair’s test subject in their first-ever on-air interview.
Upon introducing Kumalo as the day’s guest, Tunzi then proceeded to use the words “sisi” and “mama” while trying to figure out how to refer to Kumalo.
“Sisi” and “mama” are honorifics often said before someone’s name when referring to an elder in African culture as it is viewed as disrespectful to refer to an elder by their first name.
“You gotta call me Mama B darling, I’m as old as your mother probably,” responded Kumalo.
“That is what I wanted to address because I don’t know whether to call you Queen or to courtesy,” said Tunzi as she bowed slightly.
Tunzi then reflected about how she was only one year old at the time Kumalo won the Miss South Africa title before stating that she had always wanted to know what her train of thought at the time was.
“Well, I mean, train of thought… It’s a very strange question, by the way, to ask somebody ‘what was your train of thought?’ but anyway, let me indulge you,” said Kumalo before trying to answer Tunzi’s question as best she could.
The interview was understandably awkward as the pair had never done anything of the sort before but Tunzi’s new-found fans, unfortunately, took this out of context and made Kumalo trend.
Many tweeted their thoughts on the interview.
Neither Tunzi nor Kumalo has yet to release a statement on the misunderstanding.