Christmas at the Dlamini-Jones home is always filled with food, laughter, and decorations and this year will not be any different.
This Christmas Minnie Dlamini-Jones and hubby Quinton Jones will, as per usual, host both their families in their home and enjoy a good afternoon swim while blasting Christmas carols.
“I cook a lot, swim, and spend a lot of time with my family. It is my downtime and I take as much time away from work as I possibly can,” she says.
“I love to cook my oxtail, everyone loves it. I also make a really good curry. I love to cook with my husband because he is a great cook and it’s our best time together,” she says.
“But I’m just really spoilt. My mom and dad call me Meghan Markle coz I’m a princess and my husband does most of the cooking,” she chuckles.
Minnie and Quinton have been married for almost four years and they love to host their families.
“I’m a married woman, I stay with my husband, and I get everyone together at my house. My husband and I love to host, he is exactly the person I am to his family. We are the glue that brings everyone together; we love to get everyone in one place. We didn’t even plan it, but we always spend Christmas together,” she says.
Being a mom to Netha Makhosini Jones, Minnie wants to make every Christmas special for her son.
“My son is still really small. Our first Christmas, Netha was really small, and he didn’t really understand anything. But we dressed him up in a Christmas outfit and sweaters. I put him in this coolest outfit, and he will hate me for it when he is older. But now that he is a year older, I want to start the traditions that we had growing up,” she says.
“We always had a Christmas tree and presents under the tree. Before lunch, we will always sit together and open the presents, and I want to have those little rituals we used to do when we were kids, and I can’t wait to get him excited about those rituals. Christmas and my birthday are my favourite holidays, it's filled with love and family and I’m excited for the years to come.”
This year will be the third Christmas without her brother Khosini, who died in 2019. She doesn’t want to think about it as it still makes her sad and emotional.
“Time is precious, and you don’t know how much time you have with the people you have and I love spending time with my family,” she says.
Minnie says the most beautiful thing about marriage, motherhood, and family is having a safe home that she calls her own.
“Having a place that’s mine, a safe space and home is amazing. It’s what we had growing up and we should feel safe in our homes and families. For me to be able to say that I grew up really well, with a beautiful home and family, and to have my own version of that has been special,” she says.
This year has been challenging because of the pandemic but Minnie has worked hard and achieved some of her goals.
“Outside of COVID-19, the year has been great to explore different aspects of the industry. This year, I sunk my teeth into producing. I shot two films, one is out already on Showmax, Goodbye Gogo and the other comes out on Valentine’s Day, but I can’t say what it’s called yet. It stars Lungile Radu, Pallance Dladla, Zola Nombona and Mapho Brescia. It’s all people I love, and I was so happy for them to give me some of their time and be a part of my first movie project. That was really special. Hope Mbhele is also someone to watch. I loved working with someone waiting for their big break because someone gave me mine and I want to be able to help people take their career to the next level,” she says.
Getting into the production meant going behind the scenes again.
“I started behind the scenes. After I dropped out of varsity, I moved to Joburg and had nothing to do than Live Amp on a Friday night. So I would go to Urban Brew and learn stuff. I’d be in the edit suite, then leave, grab the camera, book things, and production manage or write scripts. I got to immerse myself in all the different aspects of production and I realised that outside of being on TV. I wanted to do more, creatively stimulate myself, and produce,” she says.
“There’s something so magical and powerful in producing a story and seeing it come to life on screen.”
Minnie, however, still loves acting and being in front of the camera.
“I just came back from Zanzibar, from shooting a movie for two months. It’s called The Honeymoon with Tumi Morake, Kajal Bagwandeen and we shot for a month in Durban and a few weeks in Zanzibar. So, I’m finally back, acting again. For the past three years, I have been threatening, saying I will go back and it’s been so close but something would pop up.”
Minnie was picky about the kind of role she chose for her acting comeback.
The last acting role she did was on Rockville where she played rebellious university tomboy Nosipho Bogatsu.
“I was getting offered lead roles or to read for roles. But after a good eight-year hiatus, I felt I needed to ease myself into it.”
On The Honeymoon, she plays Lu, a wife, and a mom.
“The nice thing about her is that they have been married for a long time, she has two older kids, and she is in a space where she had lost herself in her marriage and she wants to redefine who she is. Her journey is really special and exciting, and a lot of women will resonate with her.”
In the year 2022, Minnie is hoping to achieve a few goals on her list.
“Every year, I try to do something new and different while maintaining what I have got, consistency is very important in this business and a lot of people take that for granted. People are always trying to start something new but don’t have that one solid thing that they can say they do while they play around,” she says.
“My presenting and hosting will always be my first and be-all. That’s how I got into the business, that’s how I’ve managed to stay in it, and I’ve been privileged to immerse myself in everything else.”
At some point in her career, Minnie wants to do talk radio or television.
“But I’m not trying to tie myself down to something that will keep me in one place, flexibility is so important for me. The biggest thing is for people to see me as an actress again. I’m writing a lot of screenplays and I adapt them into dramas or films. I did an original story on Kyknet called Pa. I wrote the original story and the writers worked on the script. I am excited to do a lot more of that next year.”
One of Minnie’s secrets to happiness is looking good and feeling good.
“I will be honest, I had a beautiful pregnancy, I found out I was pregnant two days before lockdown, I didn’t gain weight, I hardly had morning sickness. I had the most beautiful pregnancy, and my doctor monitored my weight and was very strict with me. I actively focused on my eating and supplements; I knew that if I gained too much during my pregnancy I would struggle. Breastfeeding helped me lose weight really quickly."
But her close friends also impsire her to always stay looking good.
"I have friends like Unathi who work out and Melanie who does Yoga, they are an inspiration to look good. Women are taking the power of our bodies and I just want to feel confident, not to look like anyone but enjoy who I am," she says.