Talk show host, broadcaster and author Redi Tlhabi was quick to shut down criticism of the success of her daughter Lesego’s online persona Coconut Kelz after a Twitter user shared his assumption that being related to Redi helped Lesego get to where she is today.
The conversation began when the SABC announced that Lesego would be joining former Carte Blanche presenter Bongani Bingwa on his new show Democracy Gague and Lesego commented that she was excited to be on the show.
Twitter user @russ421 responded “since we at it .Does being connected to a leading radio personality give you a easier time than say Lindy Johnson another young black comic ?” [sic]
Journalist Pontsho Pilane also weighed in, adding that she had also asked herself if the relationship (to Redi) has influenced her success.
Pilane’s response caught Redi’s attention and she fired off a thread chronicling Lesego’s journey to get to where she is now.
“You could have asked me? I’d have answered. Lesego battled to find her feet after matric. Quit UCT media studies. Finally got dramatic arts degree in London. Battled to find work, worked as producer for VUZU. Battled again. Then last year, used her phone to make people laugh,” began Redi.
“Lastly “the relationship” has been going on for 14 years. I’ve been Lesego’s step mom for 9 years. I wonder why the relationship would only “help” her success so late in the game, when I’d retired. At her age, her success kinda makes sense. Have a good day,” she concluded.
Lesego also chimed in, stating that she and Johnson’s careers were completely different.
“I’m not a comic so????????♀️ I don’t do stand up and our careers are completely different so the comparison is weird. I’ve been doing this for years before any real attention & bcoz of my subject matter & this being elections year, I blew up. I’m a fan of hers & can’t wait for her moment.”
Pilane has since apologized for the way in which she framed her thoughts on the matter.
Check out the entire exchange below:
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)