Sonia Mbele is celebrating pulling off a great first season of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and she opened up about the challenges it brought; what it was like being producer and mom in one.
Producing a successful TV show is not easy. It takes many sleepless nights and determination to be the best.
For Sonia Mbele, the producer behind the hit reality TV series The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, her success tastes sweet but did not come easy.
The idea was born 5 years ago, but it has been a battle to get where she is now.
The 41-year-old actress-turned-producer recently opened up on why it took 5 years to complete the show and how she survived severe depression that affected her children.
Sonia had the brilliant idea for the real housewives with a South African twist back in 2014 and put her everything into it.
However, her then-partners abused the fact that she was going through a messy breakup, as reported on by News24.
Sonia was downgraded from producer to attending to the tasks of an intern. Since she put in all the work, got the cast together and built the show, she decided that she'd rather walk away from her dream than be used like that.
I was no longer producer but told I needed to make coffee for people, hang curtains, move boxes and basically do the work of an intern.
That is not what I had signed up to do. I was supposed to deal with bigger issues, but I was made to deal with broken doorknobs. Those people truly mistreated me.
I decided f*** this, I went home and handed in my resignation letter. I was then told, ‘No,
you’re not resigning, you’re fired’. When everyone heard I’d walked away, they all pulled out and that’s how the first attempt of RHOJ failed.
After this failure, Sonia's depression got worse, and she says she was in a black hole.
Briefly.co.za gathered that things escalated to a point where Sonia would sleep the days away, neglecting her children.
Their caretaker had to look after them because Sonia was in no condition to. Eventually, she drove herself to a mental hospital.
A friend was staying with her to support her at the time.
We got into the car and while on the highway I felt like I was losing my mind. I drove myself to the nearest mental hospital. I was rambling on and on when a nurse came to me. That woman was my saving grace.
The nurse asked Sonia if she was sure she wanted to be admitted - it could take a while to get out again.
This hit Sonia hard, as she thought about her children.
I had a vision of myself in an institution, standing at a window and watching my children play outside – being trapped in a room, unable to go anywhere or move.
I don’t know what happened, but I became determined to work hard on pulling myself out of the depression.
Fast forward 5 years and here we are - Sonia is much better and happy that her work as producer is a success.
I have a beautiful, warm, happy home for my kids. I am doing what I love and find joy in waking up every morning. This year everything erupted – it’s the year of the volcano for me.
Motherhood hasn’t been easy, but it has been pleasurable. I’m at peace, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done and my sleeves are rolled up.
Congratulations, Sonia. You claimed your success most spectacularly.
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