Penny Lebyane talks not giving up on life


FORMER Motswako host, Penny Lebyane (39), has without a doubt endured the toughest times in her life. From being separated from the father of her two children, Takunda (11) and Tamuka (7) in 2008, to dealing with depression, Penny has gone through a lot of

challenges. The co-host of Sunrise,’s breakfast show, says she refuses to give up on life because of her painful past or what the media has written about her. She says this year, she decided to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate her purpose on earth. The Bushbuckridge born star tells Move! that she is finding healing through God and

is slowly becoming the woman she’s meant to be.


Penny, who started working at the Voice of Soweto community radio station when she was in Grade 12, says she has had her fair share of glorious years in the industry. But she is also quick to admit that she still has some financial struggles because of the nature of the

industry she is in. Recently, it was reported that the sheriff of the court sold some of her

personal belongings at an auction to settle her debt. According to newspaper reports,

this happened after Penny defaulted on a rental agreement she had with a certain company. “What was reported in the newspaper is different from what I know.

We all have debts. It’s such a pity that when I’m in debt, it makes headlines. I choose not to live in a bubble – I’m just like everyone else,” she says. “I don’t have any shame

about this because I’m a realist. I would rather talk about what I am going through openly because one thing I know is that skeletons have their own way of coming out.

I like to deal with issues head-on. Being in debt doesn’t make me less

of a person. I’m human too,” says the former Metro FM DJ.


The mother of two says she’s blessed that she and the father of her children, Zimbabwean

businessman Ali Naka together with his wife Palesa, are civil enough to raise their children together. “What I also need to clarify is that I was never married to the father of my children and my decision to let them use his surname was to make things right for them,” says Penny. “Having said that, I would like to marry one day. For now, I’m just enjoying being nurtured spiritually.” Penny, who is an usher and a Sunday school teacher at Assemblies of God Church in Sandton, says she won’t date for the sake of dating. “I’ve got to a point in my life where I don’t entertain men – be it sexually or otherwise. I choose to remain single. We shouldn’t be desperate as women. We should understand

that when a man pays for damages after impregnating you, that is not marriage. And if he pays lobola, that is not marriage too,” she says. “According to my understanding,

marriage is cultural, spiritual and also legal,” says Penny. She adds that she’s currently

working on a project aimed at understanding men but she’s not ready to divulge the details.

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