With more than two decades in the entertainment industry, Pabi Moloi is not planning to slow down any time soon.

We chatted to the versatile TV and radio personality about motherhood, her greatest challenge and life in the spotlight. 

We meet on a Monday morning at Mama Mexicana restaurant in Maboneng Precinct, the creative hub of Johannesburg East. One can’t help but be drawn to Pabi, whose infectious laugh rings out as she has her hair cut while sipping on a strong cappuccino.

She describes herself as having a real heart for people, which goes without saying when one considers she’s been an entertainer since her childhood in the 90s. Today she’s very much a permanent fixture in the industry.

‘I was a performer from the start,’ she smiles. ‘I remember being asked if I would like to be on stage.’ Needless to say the answer was a resounding yes, and she landed her first paying job at the tender age of four! Her passion for the industry was ingnited, and Pabi hasn’t looked back since – 31 years later she’s still hot property.

She is proud of the cultural diversity of her early years, and having had access to the best of both worlds – life in a township and a private-school education. The Soweto-born dynamo has extensive experience in broadcasting, having hosted M-Net’s kiddies’ show, K-TV, from the age of 11 as well as the first eight seasons of the popular magazine show, All Access Mzansi. Some of her more recent projects include presenting on live shows such as TLC’s Love at Second Swipe and SABC 2’s ballroom dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing.

She says that her current role of co-host on SABC 3’s live talk show Trending SA, which tackles trending topics without fear or favour, is the most challenging project she’s worked on. She’s clearly risen to the challenge, having recently scooped the Golden Horn for Best Talk Show host at the 2018 SAFTA awards. ‘It requires so much of my energy,’ she says. ‘It is the most present I’ve ever had to be, no matter my mood or the circumstances.’

Besides her television work, Pabi’s made a name for herself as a radio presenter, hosting shows on Gauteng youth station YFM and talk radio Power FM as host of Power Breakfast. Pabi believes success is when one feels proud of their accomplishments – and proud she is of her achievements thus far.

Pabi credits her passion for entertainment and her dedication to her mother, veteran actress Nana Moloi, who rose to fame for her roles in shows such as the 1974 smash-hit musical Ipi Ntombi.

Pabi fondly recalls her mother and aunt’s performance at her pre-primary school. ‘My mom was so revered and so beautiful. I just knew she was different,’ she smiles. ‘She is so resilient and smart. I have a lot of her professionalism, for which I’m grateful.’ Pabi’s mother clearly passed on the tools with which she has carved such a successful career.

Notably, her TV debut was in a commercial with her mother. Asked what she did with her first salary, Pabi says she saved it. ‘I’m so boring,’ she laughs, ‘but I had my granny help me open a bank account, and we would check my balance every month. It became a lot of fun!’

Mother to a two-year-old son, Pabi is very private when it comes to her personal life. She is very careful not to reveal much about her family, and she avoids revealing her son’s identity on social media. ‘I want my work to represent me the most,’ she says. ‘I get a lot of joy from my work, and I just don’t like being the subject of gossip.’

When asked what values she hopes to pass on to her boy she says, ‘I really would be so proud if he has discernment. If he learns to trust where trust is earned and learns to work hard, I’ll be very pleased.’

The proud mom can, however, share that he is funny, smart, kind and friendly. ‘I’m biased,’ she laughs, ‘but I’ve heard other people say the same thing.’

For Pabi, motherhood has been a journey of undying and unending love. Asked to sum it up in one word, she says an adventure would best describe her experience of motherhood thus far.

‘He lived in my body, so there is a connection on a spiritual level that I absolutely cannot describe,’ she smiles. ‘It has stretched me as a human being, and I’m so grateful for it.’

She believes it is essential that mothers follow their instincts. ‘I’m still learning, but I know the guilt of being a working mom can be so hard,’ she says. She also believes, however, that ‘our children are richer for having moms who have ambition and are strict enough to create time and space
to parent well.’

Even though juggling multiple priorities can present challenges, Pabi is more than willing to tackle them. She has no ‘typical day’, and prefers it that way. ‘It’s different every day,’ she says. ‘I always juggle my primary duty as a mom to my son with work, gym and if I’m lucky, rest. Doing what you love makes it all worth it.’

She is tight-lipped about her upcoming plans, but we have no doubt that we will be seeing more of Pabi for years to come. 

* In 2011 she was awarded the Ultimate Style Icon Award at the SA Style Awards.
* She enjoys a healthy lifestyle and shares her fitness journey with fans.
* She is the first girl and only granddaughter in her family.
* She interviewed Madiba.
* Another career highlight was travelling to China.

* I love salty snacks.
* The Garden Route is my ideal holiday destination in South Africa.
* My go-to outfit is a pair of skinny jeans and a white vest for the day, and a little black dress for the evening.
* You will never find me without my son.

Facebook @Pabi Moloi
Instagram @pabimoloi
Twitter @PabiMoloi

By Koketso Mashika

PABI MOLOI #TRENDING PABI MOLOI #TRENDING Reviewed by Jet Club on March 26, 2019 Rating: 5
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