MOTSWEDING FM's Thapelo Lehureli (30), who is popularly known as Lara Kruger, is taking the airwaves by storm. She is one of the most-loved radio presenters in Mzansi and the listeners just can’t get enough of her show. Although she is physically a man, she likes to be identified as a woman. Speaking to Move!, Lara Kruger says her journey to stardom has been absolutely amazing and she plans to do more in the entertainment industry.
THE CHALLENGES SHE CAME ACROSS
Lara Kruger opens up about the challenges she came across when she was growing up. “The only major hardship I faced was to find myself. I knew deep down that I was a girl but my body told a different story. I didn’t know how to present myself, even when it came to the clothes I had to wear. I always presented myself as a woman and would always queue with girls at school even though the teachers didn’t allow it. I carried on this way and made sure that people knew that no one messes with me,” she says. “But other than that, I had an amazing childhood because once I found myself people understood what I was about. People loved and respected me but obviously there were those who tested me but it was something I could handle,” she says.
She says the first thing that people think when someone is transgender is that they should go for surgery. “But being transgender is mainly about how you feel inside," she says. She further explains that she doesn’t understand why people take the route of undergoing a surgery when they are transgender and having body parts that are not their own. “I really don’t see the necessity of changing your private parts if you are transgender. Sex reassignment surgeries are very expensive. I wouldn’t do that to myself. I’ve accepted that God gave me this male body and the only thing I’ll do is to take care of it,” says the radio personality. Asked about how she was received in the entertainment industry, she says, “Because I knew that I was different, I had a perception that people would judge me but it helped that I didn’t put myself down. I continued to do what I’m good at. At the end of the day, everyone needs to be comfortable with who they are and live their own lives,” she says.
RAISED BY A SINGLE MOTHER
Born and raised in Mogwase, Rustenburg, the radio star was raised by a single mother. “My father passed away when I was only two years old and I was single-handedly raised by my mother. She has always been supportive and loved me the way I was. Even when I spoke to her about being confused about my gender, she was there to guide me. She stood by me and supported me in all the decisions I wanted to make,” she says. She describes her mother as a strong woman of prayer who is very vocal. “I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for her,” she says.
LIVING HER DREAM
Lara Kruger is a television, lifestyle and entertainment critic. She is also an on-air personality for Motsweding FM, voice-over artist, MC, motivational speaker and a DJ. “I always knew that I was an entertainer even though I started my career in hospitality. After finishing school, I worked in a spa,” she says. She explains that when she started going for auditions, she was told that she was too confident. She says she couldn’t understand why having confidence was seen as a problem. Lara Kruger finally landed a radio show called the Good Times Show, which airs on Motsweding FM on Saturdays from 9pm to 12am. “In 2015 I was discovered by Motsweding FM’s station manager, Katlego Mokhele. That’s when my dream began and this was a very humbling experience. I went live for the first time with my co-host, Tazzman Nkoane, who later left the station and now I get to do the show on my own,” she says.