Chichi 'hates South Africa'

Johannesburg - Former Generations actress and A-list celebrity Chichi Letswalo has fallen so hard that she has had to change nappies for a living.

City Press can reveal in an exclusive that the star of TV's The Wedding Show quietly left South Africa last week to take a job as a nanny in New York.

Sources say she started her new job on Friday and she will be earning a meagre $140 a week, (about R3 600) per month. The family she's living with is also providing meals.

The husky-voiced Letswalo has fallen on hard times since she was dropped by SABC1 soapie Generations and the canned drama Backstage.

Wants a rich man and a job

When The Wedding Show was discontinued, her Morningside Manor family mansion was repossessed, forcing her to squat at a friend's house in Pimville, Soweto, while her siblings were adopted by relatives.

She managed to bounce back after joining Backstage and Generations later. This saw her move back to Sandton with her family.

They gave up the Sandton apartment when she was "off-loaded by the soapies".

Sources told City Press that she arrived in New York in a desperate search for "a rich man" and a job.

Cleopatra Mariri, Letswalo's childhood friend who has been living in the US for four years, is said to have already hooked her up with basketball player Stephon Marbury, who plays for the New York Knicks.

Mariri, who is engaged to wealthy NBA player Christopher Webber, confirmed Letswalo started her job as a nanny last week.

Mariri, who claimed she was with Letswalo when we phoned her, said the former actress would not talk to City Press.

She said: "The reason why Chichi left South Africa was because of the press. It ruined her life. She is here with me and she says she does not want to talk to you guys. She wants nothing to do with South Africa."

The Soweto-born Mariri, who is studying political science and diplomacy at a college in Massachusetts, confirmed hooking up Letswalo with Marbury.

"Chichi came here with a different mind. She was looking for a rich man and I hooked her up with my fiancé's best friend. She hates South Africa. They might move in together if things work out between them. If not, I will hook her up with another rich man," said Mariri.

She said they had a huge welcome party for Letswalo at Trump International Hotel.

Mariri added that the blue Bentley convertible she drives was bought by Webber.

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