She usually goes big with birthday bashes but thanks to Covid-19, Leanne Manas couldn’t have her big group of friends over to celebrate the big day.
This year the TV presenter rang in her 46th birthday with a small dinner at home. Her husband, Marc Menelaou, children, Alexandro and Gabriella, and her parents were the only guests at the intimate celebration – yet she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It's the first year I didn’t have a bunch of friends over to celebrate but to be honest, it's the right thing to do,” Leanne says. “I really don't want to put anyone's health at risk, I truly believe we still need to be very conservative and play it safe with this pandemic.”
Fortunately, there was much to be excited about – her family bought her an adorable labradoodle puppy named Mirabella Montsho.
The pretty pooch is the “best birthday gift ever”, she says.
Leanne was also gifted a portrait of herself painted by Lebani “Rasta” Sirenje, who is famous for his portraits of celebrities that don’t quite resemble the subject.
Someone had sent Leanne a pic of her portrait while she was having dinner with her family. “I showed everyone, including my mom, and they had no clue who it was,” she says. “I laughed so much – it made my day.”
Her birthday also gave her time to count her blessings – and give back to those less fortunate.
Leanne, a goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR, couldn’t help but reach out to an unemployed father of three who asked her for help on Twitter. “To know someone is resting easier for a moment without being consumed by hunger is the best present I can give myself,” she says.
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