You’ve seen her on screens hosting some of TV’s hottest shows and starring in international films and series. But there is more Bonnie Mbuli than meets the eye.
This critically-acclaimed media personality started her career in the entertainment industry at the tender age of 13, and has been on the up and up ever since.
In 2012, she made the transition from actress to author, releasing her best-selling book, ‘Eye Bags and Dimples’. In it, she opened up about her struggles with her mental health and her journey to recovery and self-love. Bonnie also shares her journey in her inspirational podcast – ‘Internal Dialogue’ – where she talks about healing and the importance of self-care.
Despite having so much on her plate, we were able to catch up with her for a shoot at the luxurious Silo Hotel in Cape Town where she spilt the tea on her life, boosting confidence, and how to bring the shine!
1. What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome in your life?
About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. It was recommended that I go on medication, and I wasn't sure if I would have to take it forever. But I stayed on it for about five years, and during that time I went to therapy too, where I learnt a lot about myself and what had been going on inside me that I’d been ignoring.
As challenging as it was to overcome, it was literally the best thing that could’ve happened to me, because that's where I learned how to really take care of myself, love myself and treat myself with more compassion.
2. What does self-care mean to you, and what’s your go-to ritual?
Self-discovery is really a key to success, I think and you can only discover yourself when you spend time with yourself. I came across the idea of self-care when I was trying to define what self-love looks and feels like for me. I then realised that if you love something, you care for it, right? This is what you should be doing with yourself.
My ritual is daily meditation after I wake up. I then pray and, occasionally, I treat myself to a long, aromatic bubble bath. I have also found journaling to be a lifesaver. When you take the time to write down the things that are happening in your life, you start to feel like you have more control over them and gives you time to reflect.
3. What are three self-care items you can’t live without?
My jade roller. I keep it next to my bed and massage my face with it before going to bed and on waking for some ‘face yoga’. Secondly, a brilliant eye cream. I am always on the hunt for the best one. The last thing? Wine. I kid you not!
4. Who are the women you admire the most?
My mother, even more so now that I am a mother as well. I’ve come to realise she is literally Superwoman! I also admire my primary school English teacher. She had this ability to recognise and bring out the best in every person in the class. We’d walk out of her classroom feeling like superstars!
5. What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood means never having to apologise for who I really am.
6. What does the perfect Friday night-in entail?
Definitely my sister or my girls! I love cooking and baking, so I would make a cake or decadent dessert to pair with some Shine Club Wine. We would also have to play 30 Seconds! There’s nothing I love more than catching up and connecting with my friends.
7. What is your ideal girls’ get together?
Planning a trip away. No boys, no kids, just us and our passports. We could save up to go somewhere exotic, like Jamaica, which is one of my favourite places in the world. Meeting at the airport with our best outfits and having a crazy girls trip would be fabulous!
8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
It actually comes from a quote that I have held onto for years and has taught me a lot. I've held onto it my whole life. It is: ‘Allow people to feel the weight of who you are, and let them deal with it’.
9. What are your tips for being confident?
The most important lesson I have learnt about confidence is that it isn’t an outside process, it has to be an inside-out one. You have to know who you are and what you stand for. What makes me confident about myself is my value system, because it’s an unchangeable part of me and it goes into everything I do, from how I treat people to the intentions that I have towards the world.
10. What does sharing the shine mean to you?
Women are always being pitted against each other and forced to compare themselves. So, to me, sharing the shine means celebrating somebody else and their successes. Not because you're going to get anything out of it, but because it's just the right thing to do. And it feels good!