THE apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say . . . Or is it more a case of the apple lying in the tree’s shadow?
Having a famous parent has its advantages and disadvantages. Although it could be great in some ways to live in a well-known parent’s shadow it could also be daunting for any child. For example, despite Bongani Fassie’s success with the award-winning hip hop group Jozi, the 30-year-old talented musician will always be remembered as the son of the late Brenda “Mabrrr” Fassie – one of the most celebrated singers in Mzansi.
But for Rethabile Khumalo, 19, SA Idols Season 8 contestant and the 19-year-old daughter of Live My Life smash-hit singer, Winnie Khumalo, her mum’s popularity worked in her favour. Winnie’s fans voted to keep her in the competition.
Disadvantage or not, many celebs’ kids follow in their parents’ footsteps.
Maps v Marks Maponyane
As the son of soccer legend Marks “Go Man Go” Maponyane, some would have expected to see Maps, real name Masego Maponyane, in football gear, playing for a PSL team. But no, Maps retired before he reached top level. The constant comparison with his dad’s remarkable skills proved to be too much to keep up with for the young Maponyane.
“I (used to) get quite intimidated and irritated because every kick is compared to his. I quit soccer altogether because I’d always have to live in his shadow,” said the 23-year-old model, who is now following in his dad’s footsteps in TV broadcasting.
Nonhle Thema v Cynthia Shange
Cynthia Shange, who gave birth to daughter Nonhle Thema, is a former beauty queen and Miss South Africa, and the first black beauty queen to enter The Miss World Pageant in 1972, representing Mzansi. Nonhle was crowned the first Miss Allenby Campus beauty queen in 2001.
Born in Lamontville, Durban, Cynthia, 65, is an actress who was once starring in her own drama series based on her life called uDeliwe, currently known as a reality show. Many years later, her daughter launched a reality TV show called Nonhle Goes to Hollywood.
In 2013, Nonhle secured her first gig in acting when she joined the Mzansi Magic soapie, Zabalaza, playing the character of Kgomotso.
Atandwa v Dr John Kani
The veteran actor Dr John Kani’s son, Atandwa Kani, 30, was born in the acting industry. Atandwa played a psychotic doctor in the SABC2 popular soapie Muvhango and recently landed a Casanova role in one of Mzansi’s most popular soapies, Generations, to be screened on 20 August this year.
Although Atandwa was reluctant to attend his dad’s theatre plays at a young age, he slowly developed interest in the field and subsequently followed in his dad’s footsteps.
“I tried so hard not to follow in my dad’s footsteps but after matric I found myself knowing nothing but theatre,” Atandwa said.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka v Themba Machaka
The iconic singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, nicknamed “The Princess of Africa”, is the mother of Themba “Don” Machaka, 28.
The concerned Yvonne unsuccessfully tried several times to block her son from pursuing a career in music. Her son too attempted to distance himself from music but the temptation was irresistible.
“I tried to run away from music and I always thought people would think I was doing it because of my mum but music chose me,” he said. He added: “My mum tried to stop me many times from pursuing a career in music because it’s a known fact that the industry is corrupt.”
Lucky v Nkulee Dube
Nkulee Dube, 24, daughter to the late Reggae legend Lucky Dube, was practically born on stage. The young singer/songwriter was part of her late dad’s performing band, One People, as a guest artist and backing vocalist for years.
Speaking to Now Magazine, Nkulee vowed to keep her dad’s legacy alive: “My dad’s legacy is the greatest inheritance a parent could ever leave his kids. “He left us a key to open any door in the world, without limits. The name can be tough to carry at times because everyone knows who you are.
“When I’m performing, it feels like my dad is there watching over me. That’s the reason I love my dad’s fans. I see him in their eyes and feel him close to me.”
Lerato v Candy Moloi
Actress Lerato Moloi is another celeb who followed her mum Candy Moloi’s example. Candy is an actress famously known for her character Vho Makhadzi on Muvhango.