Katlego Maboe shares his 'darkest' moment during emotional return to TV – 'I was very fortunate'

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Katlego Maboe returns to The Expresso Morning Show.
Katlego Maboe returns to The Expresso Morning Show.
Photo: Supplied by S3
  • Katlego Maboe made an emotional return to South African TV screens on Monday.
  • The presenter is back on The Expresso Morning Show after a two-year hiatus.
  • Here, we look at six key takeaways from his TV return.

Katlego Maboe made an emotional return to South African TV screens on Monday morning in a special episode of The Expresso Morning Show.

The South African TV presenter returned to the morning show two years after taking time off to "focus on personal matters that stemmed from allegations of abuse against him" by his former partner Monique Muller.

During the three-hour special, Maboe discussed overcoming hardships, working on himself and figuring out how to move on feeling stronger than ever.

One of the underlying themes of his return was the gratitude he feels toward his colleagues, his family and the public for keeping him going. 

"I was very fortunate that village for me existed not only in my close circle of family and friends but even stretched outside to the social media world," Maboe said before acknowledging the numerous messages of support he received daily.

"I am ever so grateful. If it weren't for those people who every day were saying, 'come back; we've got you; you can do this', I definitely would not be where I am right now."

Here are six key takeaways from Maboe's TV return:

His first segment back

Maboe's first segment back took place in the kitchen with in-house chef Jenny Morris. Ahead of the feature, Maboe recalled how "amazing" the kitchen always smells, adding that it was something he missed during his two-year hiatus. 

Maboe and Morris then whipped up "chicken soup for the soul," with the media personality sharing that this specific meal is something he loves to cook for his son, Phoenix, who he shares with Muller.

Suicidal thoughts

During the three-hour special, Maboe sat down with fellow presenter Graeme Richards. At one point in their conversation, the 35-year-old revealed there were genuine moments of darkness that he thought it would just be better to end it all.

"I just kept saying to myself, 'I have to believe that I am made of stronger stuff than this.' It's an important part of one's character and has pulled me through the darkest times."

When asked by Richards if there was a moment when he felt he was pushed too far, Maboe responded, "Of course."

"Certainly the beginning. It didn't matter if it was 10/15 years that you put into something; everything in one moment became impermanent."

During this moment, Maboe questioned whether it would be better "if it was just done".

"There was a moment when I thought the darkest thoughts. I thought wouldn't it be better if it was just done? Just quickly. Now. Done. My family wouldn't have to worry about having to call me every day and deal with me. But, the reason for it all needs to come from somewhere; for me, that was Phoenix."

Studying for an MBA

After listening to a viewer's voice note praising Maboe for choosing not to go back to the profession that he studied, accounting, Katlego revealed that he has returned to varsity.

"I am doing my post-graduate diploma in business management. That's how I've been keeping myself busy. Over and above being a dad, I'm studying with the idea of getting my MBA in years to come."

Referring to things that motivated him to keep busy during the two years off, Maboe said, "It was about moving forward, and I had to do it not just for myself but for so many other people out there that I think face even greater challenges than I have gone through."

Shifting his priorities

A large part of Maboe's return has been how his priorities shifted over the last couple of years, and one of the things he points out that he has worked on the most is building a relationship with his 4-year-old son.

"I am becoming the better man I want to be for my son. I am becoming the better father I want to be for him," Maboe said when speaking about his relationship with Phoenix.

When discussing how his priorities changed since he was last on the show, Maboe points out that he still has hopes and dreams.

"The hopes and dreams I have always had are still there, but I have a new perspective, especially in the relationship between me and my son," Maboe told Richards.

He added that while there have been a lot of negatives over the last couple of years, he has focused on the positives. 

"I look at the fact that I have had a solid two and a half years of quality time with my son, and nothing can replace that. Not any amount of money or dream or ambition or achievement could ever replace that. But yes, I want to show him what the world is about, the importance of connection with human beings, to have empathy and understanding."

Maboe added that professionally, "I would still love to make a mark on the local broadcasting scene, knowing and understanding how important this platform is in shaping the country every day. There is my passion for music as well, which excites me."

What he missed the most

Upon Maboe's return, a lot has changed. When asked if he feels different walking onto the set, he said, "It comes with a different set of tools of consciousness and awareness. But in a very positive way."

The singer added that he missed the familial feeling of being on the show the most.

"I feel genuine love and warmth when I walk into the studio, and it feels reciprocated. The smiles are real. It's family, and I missed that. No matter what was happening in my life around me, I was always able to walk through that door and know that there would be a surge of this welcoming feeling."

Maboe added that his bubbly personality, fueled by being on the show, felt as though it had been "extinguished," however, it has now been reignited.

"It's amazing to officially be back."

A message to his fans

Maboe concluded his TV return with a performance of Shania Twain's You're Still the One. After bringing everyone to tears, he shared a special message with his supporters.

"To every single person who has prayed for this moment and wielded it to come to fruition, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. Here's to many more feel-good moments."

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