We’re used to seeing her on the box in the morning, presenting the hot topics of the day in her firm, friendly way. But a very different LEANNE MANAS is sitting in front of us today - one who becomes all soft and gooey when she gazes at the little boy on her lap.
ALEXANDRO is the Morning Live presenter’s favourite topic of conversation these days. This is the 35-year-old TV personality in mommy mode.
She and her husband, Marc Menelaou, moved into this house in August last year, a few months after a traumatic incident at their previous home in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Leanne was tied up and robbed at gunpoint, which left her badly shaken.
“One of the best things about it is the security,” she says. “It’s so tranquil here and family-oriented. You see kids running around, playing in the streets and the park all the time.
“Alexandro has such a beautiful nature. He really is a good baby and cries only when there’s good reason. But whoa, that temper! He knows what he wants. Being a Leo he’s got a lovely little growl and I can already see a little lion in him.”
Motherhood is a huge adventure and she loves every second of it. “I didn’t know you could love something so much. People explain it to you but until you become a parent you don’t fully understand.”
Leanne admits she was work-obsessed before her son was born.
“Our lives were so hectic. They still are but now in a different way. We’re not running from function to function. We love being at home. Every day is a new adventure and it’s exciting to watch Alexandro discovering things.”
Leanne describes the house as classic contemporary. “It’s not antique but it’s not exactly modern either.”
She and Marc decorated the place, bringing furniture from their previous two-bedroom house and kitting out the new one with almost no fuss and very few alterations.
They entertain often, having famous friends such as Edith Venter and Kass Naidoo over for dinner. And when Kass’ son, Daniel (10 months), and Alexandro are old enough they’ll hopefully have play dates.
“At the moment there’s no planned entertaining but the house is like a train station with so many people coming to see the baby.”