“People’s opinions have nothing to do with my reality” – Mihlali Ndamase, Unfollowed

By Gen Terblanche4 October 2023

“People’s opinions have nothing to do with my reality” – Mihlali Ndamase, Unfollowed

What happens to a celeb who’s been cancelled? Each Wednesday, Showmax Original series Unfollowed takes us to meet South African stars who are wrestling with life after social media death. 

In Unfollowed episode 7, Instagram influencer and make-up artist Mihlali Ndamase faces Thembekile Mrototo’s questions about homewrecking, gold digging, and alleged assault.

Watch trailer for Unfollowed

“It’s not my place to wait. I’m not the one who’s married.” 

Mihlali Ndamase gets interviewed on Unfollowed, now streaming on Showmax

Mihlali’s interview is a lesson in setting boundaries. When Thembekile asks her, “Why a married man?” she fires back, “Oh, no, darling. It’s not my place to wait. I’m not the one who’s married. It is him who decided that he wants to find a partner and date someone.” 

“People’s opinions have nothing to do with my reality.” 

Thembekile probes Mihlali about what it has been like to trend every time her lover Leeroy Sidambe’s divorce woes, legal battles and business scandals make headlines.  

“When people have nothing to come at you about, then they are going to find something to constantly dig at. They’re going to try and find something that they feel like might be a weakness … honestly people’s opinions have nothing to do with my reality,” says Mihlali. Later she explains that she keeps her private life private because, “I feel like in this industry, every single woman’s work then gets linked to a man and a man is credited for who she is.” 

“I’ve got my own money! Are you mad?”  

And when Thembekile asks her, “Did you get with Leroy because he’s got money?”  Mihlali gasps in mock outrage and asks, “I’ve got my own money! Are you mad?… There’s a lot of men with money in the world. But do they respect women?”  

Confronted with rumours that her lover has mistreated his ex-wife, his ex-girlfriend, and their children, though, Mihlali shrugs and says, “I will not speak on anything that I do not know about.” 

“Have you seen me assaulting anyone?”  

Mihlali gets even more slippery when Thembekile tries to pin her down on claims that she assaulted internet troll Musawenkosi Khawula, who leaked her phone number and address online, petitioned for brands to cut ties with her, and insulted her mother.  

“Have you seen me assaulting anyone?” Mihlali asks mischievously. “I don’t know who that is. All I’m gonna say is, if you come for my family, I will come for you. Full stop. Next question.”  

In Mihlali’s world, it’s no receipts, no secrets. And if you keep prying, she’ll just laugh and laugh and pretend that she didn’t hear you, whether you’re asking if she’s had a BBL, who bought her car and pays her rent, or what goes on in brand boardrooms every time she trends. 

In Unfollowed, Mihlali also talks about her biggest mistake on Twitter. And media experts comment on the social media trolls who try to raise their profiles by targeting high profile women with misogynistic abuse, and how influencers navigate the tricky intersection of reputation, brand damage, and creating the kind of content that drives page views. 

About Unfollowed 

Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice’s general entertainment division, describes Unfollowed as an opportunity for us to reflect on cancel culture and its place in pop culture – a chance to interrogate whether it’s the best way to deal with people who have been deemed problematic. The show interviews public figures who were cancelled on social media and lets the viewer decide if the treatment in each case was deserved. 

Watch Unfollowed S1 on Showmax, with new episodes on Wednesdays.

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