Thandile Sunduza: Faux pas is in the past

2014-06-22 15:00

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A tight canary-yellow frock brought a storm of vicious critique to former ANC MP Thandile Sunduza’s doorstep after the state of ?the nation speech in February.

She was seven and a half months pregnant at the time.

Dubbed the “wardrobe disaster MP”, she was rushed to the Park Lane Hospital after collapsing at OR Tambo airport on her way back home from Cape Town, a day after the fashion faux pas.

Four months later, as the nation’s eyes turned to the red carpet outside Parliament once again, Sunduza was wearing tracksuit pants in Roodepoort, changing her baby girl’s nappy.

The 36-year-old former arts and culture portfolio committee chairperson is taking a break from her political duties to be a mother.

Despite the hospital scare and fears of a miscarriage, she gave birth to Musa – which means Grace – without complications on April 25. Little Musa weighed in at 3.1kg.

Speaking to City Press this week Sunduza laughed as she described how much she loves being a mum to her first-born child.

“I chose the name Grace because I thank God for my privileges. Musa was fine despite my fears. She’s beautiful like her mommy,” she said.

Negative comments about Sunduza’s body sparked an online furore earlier this year, with supporters slamming her detractors and decrying unrealistic beauty ideals, especially for women.

“I grew up chubby. I’ve never been thin, even though I play sport and walk around. I’ve tried diets. It just doesn’t work. What I want to say is that women must start loving themselves,” said Sunduza.

She was watching Generations on TV at home in Wilgeheuwel, Roodepoort, when her own next generation decided it was time to arrive and her water broke.

“I didn’t know what was happening to me until my neighbour helped me out.”

Fortunately, the executive jet-setter with a penchant for heels had nine months to hone her mothering skills.

“I used to run away when people changed nappies, but I’ve learnt to deal with it,” she said, laughing.

Her parents, Nomaxabiso and Nzimeni, former teachers from the Eastern Cape, who now live in nearby Helderkruin, lend a hand with their granddaughter at weekends.

She still has the controversial canary-yellow dress, made by a Pretoria designer for R2?500. She blames the red-carpet incident on a “wardrobe disaster” and last-minute crisis management when the yellow dress wasn’t nearly what she had thought it would be.

“It was not what I wanted to wear. It was too tight. At the last minute I cut off the frills and the sleeves to make it a boob tube. Pieces were falling off. It was a nightmare.”

Sunduza said she would like to return to Parliament next year – but for now she’s happy to choose Pampers over Parly.

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