When local entrepreneur and reality TV star Shauwn Mkhize’s reality show, Kwa Mam’Mkhize, was nominated for the best reality TV show award by the Hollywood and African Prestigious Awards (HAPA), she was over the moon.
Now the multitalented philanthropist is set to receive the honorary woman of the year award at the same function in Beverly Hills, US, next Sunday.
Launched in 2002, these awards honour American and African pioneers of industry, academia and the arts.
This week, an elated Mkhize told City Press: “To get the nomination for the best reality TV show was a big surprise, a welcome one. Our reality show is not even a year old, and it’s in isiZulu, yet still got nominated in Hollywood. It’s such an amazing feeling to get recognition after opening our home and hearts to viewers,” she said.
“When I got the email to inform me that I would be receiving the Honorary Woman of the Year Award, I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe that a little girl from rural KwaZulu-Natal would grow up to be recognised [in the US] as a woman of the year. It’s a proud moment for me and validation that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”
The first 13-episode season of her show aired in January. The show became a popular fixture on DStv’s Mzansi Magic and gave viewers a direct portal into her life and home in Durban.
Mkhize will be hosting an intimate viewing party on October 18 with a live stream of the virtual HAPAs.
“There will also be a live feed showcasing our viewing party to everyone watching the awards from around the world. This will be a great opportunity to showcase the beauty, class and elegance that South Africa has,” she said.
The bubbly Mkhize wishes to use this win as a platform to inspire other women and girls to strive for excellence.
“It’s really for all the little girls who have been told that there is no place for them in the world, that their place is in the kitchen or just bearing children. This award is a true testimony to the fact that it is possible to turn your dreams into a reality. There are no limits – just hard work, ambition and focus.”
The nomination for her reality show award is just as significant to her: “Winning the best reality show award would solidify the knowledge that opening my world to viewers was the right thing to do. The love we have received has been unmatched. Week after week, people tuned in and made the show trend. This one is really for them, to say thank you for your continued support and a warm welcome to the TV industry.”
Mkhize’s future plans revolve around two pillars in her life – business and philanthropy.
“I’m in a position where I can give back, and my focus will be on paying it forward, empowering young girls, empowering black entrepreneurs, and upskilling and imparting the knowledge and experience I have to those who are trying to succeed in their respective industries.”
She is also looking at property entrepreneurship and taking her controversial RDP housing construction business, Zikhulise Group, to the private sector.
“What’s important for me is to just get my business listed. Once my business is listed, the financials will be public and there won’t be any unnecessary scrutiny. The business will be able to run smoothly and properly. Zikhulise is a legacy that my mother passed down to me. Listing this business would make my mum proud; it would be a big achievement for me.”
A return to the small screen is on the cards, but the focus will shift slightly from a more introductory methodology to homing in on her above-average aptitude in the boardroom.
“Season one of Kwa Mam’Mkhize was about finding my identity and finding myself. This journey has been so positive, and seeing how people were and still are inspired by me and the show got me considering a comeback.
“The focus will be different, though, and showcase more of the business side of things,” she said.