Basetsana Kumalo

Full / Real Name: Basetsana Julia Makgalemele
Born: 29 March 1974 (47 years old)
Gender: Female



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Basetsana was born on the 29th of March 1974 in Soweto. She started her school years at Thabisang Primary School and completed her education at Trinity Secondary School.

Her life in the limelight began in 1990 when she was crowned as Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa at the tender age of 16.

National and International recognition followed when she was crowned Miss South Africa in 1994 and in the same year also became the first runner up in the Miss World Pageant.

During her reign as Miss South Africa, she gained the respect of the nation, having spent time and energy on important issues such as community upliftment projects and fund raising for several charity organisations.

She received special awards from Operation Hunger, the Cancer Association of South Africa and the Reconstruction and Development Programme, where she played a key role.

She also received an honorary scholarship from the President of South Africa – Mr Nelson Mandela – to pursue her studies overseas.

During her reign as Miss South Africa, Top Billing approached her to become one of their presenters. Her exposure was further enhanced when she was chosen to be the face of Revlon Realistic Hair Care range for both Sub Saharan Africa and the International market.

She was Revlon Spokesperson for over five years. During the same year she was appointed Beauty Editor for Drum Magazine.

Together with her partner, Patience Stevens, Bassie started Tswelopele Productions, a television production company which produces Top Billing and Pasella.

In 1999 Tswelopele merged with Union Alliance Media and listed on the JSE Securities Exchanged SA, making Bassie one of the youngest black women directors to be part of the mainstream of the South African economy.

She has over the years progressed from just being a presenter on Top Billing to being the Chairperson of the group, owning 50 percent of the company as well as directing and producing inserts for the show.

Tswelopele Productions has grown to producing commercials and corporate videos as well as other TV-related programmes. The company has recently been nominated as one of the Top 300 Empowerment Companies.

In 2000, Basetsana went on to launch her own clothing range under the label "Stature Ladieswear by Bassie", which is distributed by Ackermans Department Stores across 240 outlets throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. This has proven to be a great success.

The year 2000 proved to be a wonderful year for Bassie as she married Romeo Kumalo.

In 2002, under the Bassie brand, Basetsana launched an optical and sunglass range, which is distributed through Torga Optical (60 stores countrywide).

In 2003, she went on to launch the Bassie Corporate and Promotional wear division and has since launched her own cosmetic range, Bassie, which will be sold through the Foschini Group. The range is available in 100 stores nationwide.

Amongst other things, Bassie was invited to host the launch of the new SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation). Other events which she has hosted include:

"The Loeries" – South Africa's advertising Oscar's, for two years running
The South African Business Women Awards
The Kora Music Awards for 3 years
The Presidential Sports Awards

Basetsana has been nominated by Femina Magazine as one of the Top 10 most glamorous women in South Africa and has been nominated for the Women of the Year Award by Shoprite/Checkers/SABC 3 in the category media and communication.

In 2002 and 2003 she was voted by Sunday Times and Elle Magazine in the TV Style Awards, as the most stylish female magazine/entertainment show host.

Apart from enjoying golf, she is a columnist, motivational speaker and a writer. She has worked for City Press newspaper writing an inspirational column on Sundays. She has contributed to Soul magazine on their women in business column.

She has also been one of the contributors on three books:

- Inspirational Women by Struik Christian Books

- Cultural Considerations: A guide to understanding culture, courtesy, and etiquette in South Africa Business by Guy Macleod

- Inspirational Women at Work by Lisel Erasmus Kritzinger

Basetsana also sits on a number of boards:

Morongwa Investment Holdings as a Chair
Vhangana Energy Resources as a director
Seven Falls as Deputy Chair
Unipalm Investment Holdings as a director
Pro – Direct as a Chair
PHAB Holdings as a director and
Q2 Petroleum as a director

Bassie also holds an ambassadorship to People's Bank (since 2003) and SA Tour (since 2004).

In her television career she has travelled extensively internationally and has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Elizabeth Hurley, the Bee Gees, the Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Sting, Samuel L Jackson, Sol Kerzner, Naomi Campbell, Richard Branson, Oprah, Shaggy, President Thabo Mbeki, and Luther Vandross, amongst others.

In the June of 2004, Tswelopele saw months of hard work come to fruition with the launch of the Top Billing Magazine. Bassie is editor of the magazine.

Social Responsibility

Basetsana strongly believes in making a difference and giving back to the community. Her social responsibilities include committing time to do Hospice Events, whether it is to raise funds or host their events at no cost. She has been involved with the Cancer Shavathon and has been involved with the Cancer Association for the last 5 years.

She has also been involved with helping Childline raise funds through the Drive for Charity event.

She has also committed to the Take a Girl Child to Work project. Reach for a dream is another organisation Bassie supports, which helps the terminally ill children realize their last dream.

She has also raised funds for the Carl Sithole Othandweni children's home in Soweto, through the Galaxy Object of desire competition.

In 2003, Bassie asked Ackermans to give away clothes worth R1 million to 50 children's homes and NGO's across the country.

In the same year, she started a project with a doctor who works in the childrens ward at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to mobilise corporate South Africa to help donate funds and even supplies to assist in the upgrading of the facilities including the purchasing of incubators and other equipment in the pediatric ward.

Once a month, on a Saturday, she also spends time at the children's cancer ward at the hospital, visiting the children and motivating them to fight harder to beat the disease.

Television Roles



Special Appearance - Herself (as Basetsana Makgalamele-Kumalo)

Selection Panel - Herself (as Basetsana Khumalo)

Presenter - Herself



Presenter - Herself


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