Thandy Matlaila On Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part ambassador, Thandy Matlaila, is focussing a lot more on building her wellness brand as she aims to make positive changes in local communities in the country. Photo: Thandy Matlaila (Instagram)

Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part ambassador, Thandy Matlaila, is focussing a lot more on building her wellness brand as she aims to make positive changes in local communities in the country.

As a household name in the entertainment industry, Matlaila is particularly recognised for her roles on local television screens as an actress.

She is also a dancer, choreographer and presenter who is using her platforms to inspire future generations to follow their dreams.

Matlaila believes she is health-conscious and wants society to understand the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.

The AFDA graduate has various workout videos and chats about health and fitness on her social media accounts, which she hopes will educate many of her followers.

Speaking with Koketso Kgogome, Matlaila shares advice on setting goals to stay healthy and active and drawing inspiration from leading SA athletes, Kgothatso Montjane and Caster Semenya.


Thandy, thank you for taking time to chat. Since your brand is all about wellness and health, how have you been keeping healthy, especially during Covid-19 times?

During the hard lockdown, I did some home workouts and I spent a great amount of time putting together programmes for people to also try out at home. I shared these on my IGTV and they’re still available there. Post restrictions, I went back to road-running which is a solo act and I have gone back to doing hot yoga @yogaexperiencejozi which has helped tremendously with all the anxiety I’ve been experiencing.


Have you always been health conscious? If not, what changed?

Growing up, I was body-conscious (I’ve always had a fear of being fat) but now you could say I’m health-conscious, though now I leave room for my sweet tooth.

And I wish that people would know the difference between being health-conscious and being body-conscious, those are two different concepts.


What advice can you give to those who have goals to stay healthy and active?

Make staying healthy a lifestyle instead of a resolution. Set realistic and attainable goals and stop putting pressure on yourself based on what you see on social media. Your race, your pace.


What’s the one mistake people do when they are making their health and fitness goals?

When it comes to losing weight, they literally think it can happen overnight. Look at it this way, you took months/years to put on the weight, why would you think it’ll take you a week to lose it, it’s NOT POSSIBLE! And don’t believe everything you read out there; there are those who claim to “snapback” after pregnancy or off-training season in a matter of days or weeks, they just don’t tell you the other things that were involved in the “snap back” process.

Start slow and ease your body into any routine or you will burn out and start blaming the changes for injuries and dissatisfaction from your workouts.


You’ve blessed us with your presence on screen as an actress but you’re also a business woman. You have a PR firm, Aptitude Consulting, what inspired you to make the shift from on-camera to behind-the-scenes?

I love seeing people prosper, grow and basically get the recognition they deserve.” – Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part Ambassador, Thandy Matlaila

As an actress, you’re not always on screen 24/7 (unless you’re in a soapie that you’ve signed a 3 year or lifetime contract with, LOL) so you need to keep yourself busy. PR is an interesting concept to me as I love seeing people prosper, grow and basically get the recognition they deserve. I also get to hang out with really cool people and work on exciting brands, which is what I love 😊


What challenges have you seen artists go through and how are you planning to make life better for them with your PR firm?

When an artist is not actively working (TV show or new single out), publications toss them aside saying they’re not relevant. What they don’t understand is that artists NEED the PR more when they’re NOT working so as to attract brands, producers etc and keep them top of mind. With that being said, we plan to ensure that our artists’ diaries are filled with activities, meaningful activities, so that they’re always relevant to a certain level and not seasonal .


You are also a Brand SA, Play Your Part ambassador. For people that don’t know, may you please explain what that means?

BrandSA recognised me as a person who makes positive change in the community (truly honoured) and as a Play Your Part ambassador, I keep doing amazing and life-changing initiatives within the community with a bigger footprint. My mandate is Youth & Women empowerment meaning all my programmes need to cater to one or both these categories.


What changes are you planning to make in our communities?

Within my youth empowerment portfolio, I will continue with my 27 Dresses Drive of donating matric farewell dresses to underprivileged matriculants who can’t afford one.

I’m also planning to take my online wellness show #WellnessOnWednesday to the people where we promote holistic wellness.


What is your message to the youth who aspire to be in the same position as you one day?

A motto I’ve learnt to live by for quite some time (thanks to Lusanda Mbane’s brand). Zazi, Zithande, Zithembe (Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself). When you have these elements in check you run your own race and see no need to compete with anyone but yourself.

Which brings me to my next message that you must, “Work on yourself, for yourself, by yourself.”


Who are the three women in sports that inspire you and why?

I know people are going to say my response is biased as I know most of these personally but it’s the honest truth.

Kgothatso Montjane. She never let her disability stop her from becoming an INTERNATIONAL wheelchair tennis player, in fact, it was her disability that earned her this title. She didn’t stop there, she went on to become a TOP 5 RANKED tennis player. She’s an inspiration to many kids who grew up in rural Limpopo not ever believing they’ll be an international STAR.

Same with Caster Semenya,  we’ve all witnessed her journey and she’s still holding her head up high despite those who are trying to bring her down. Haters only make her want to excel more and I wish more people would be like that, using the stones that people throw at you to stand on and level up 😊

Alysia Montaño, I have never seen anything more amazing than a woman, on two separate occasions, competed in professional races while highly pregnant (8 months and 5 months pregnant, respectively). She never used her pregnancy as reason to put off what she wanted to achieve. She reminds me of Beyonce’s lyrics, “We’re strong enough to bear them children, then get back down to business.” Alysia got down to business and bearing children all at the same time. LOL!


What more can we expect from you?

You will be seeing more of me on your screens. I am focusing more on building my wellness brand so I have partnered up with a certain fitness centre and sportswear range to bring you guys more home workouts.

More wellness talks are part of the plan as well 😊


How can our audience connect with you?

They can interact with me on both Instagram and Twitter @thandymatlaila. For bookings and enquiries, they can email my team [email protected]


Photo 1 Caption: Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part ambassador, Thandy Matlaila, is focussing a lot more on building her wellness brand as she aims to make positive changes in local communities in the country. Photo: Thandy Matlaila (Instagram)


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About the Author:

Koketso Kgogome

Koketso Kgogome

I'm an aspiring sports broadcaster, my favourite sports are football, tennis, basketball, and athletics. I played basketball for Wits Basketball, and that's when I realised that I can actually make a living off of sports. I have a YouTube channel that covers sports around the world, the name is: Koketso.

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