Strictly’s Motsi Mabuse and sister Oti were ‘hit by nun and called Black witches’ as she opens up on racism she faced as a child 
Posted by  badge Boss on Sep 08, 2022 - 12:35PM
Motsi Mabuse opened up on her childhood in South Africa (Picture: Prima Uk Dan Kennedy /Rex)

has opened up about the racism she and her sister faced growing up under apartheid in South Africa. 

The judge, 41, revealed the horrific racism she and her family faced, telling : ‘I lived under apartheid until the age of nine, which was a very scary time. 

‘My parents, Peter and Dudu, and my younger sisters, Phemelo and Oti, and I lived in a Black-only suburb, and I didn’t speak English when I first went to school, which was difficult. 

‘We were sent to a Catholic school run by nuns and Black children were a minority. One of the nuns would call us “Black witches” and hit us. I was terrified.’

Motsi has written her memoir, Finding My Own Rhythm, in which she wanted to show people the other side of her life was not always as glitzy as what is shown on Strictly. 

She explained: ‘When you’re a judge on Strictly, you only get to show a percentage of who you are. That’s why I wanted to write my memoir. 

Motsi revealed she and her sisters were called ‘Black witches’ by racist nuns at school (Picture: Prima UK/Dan Kennedy/ PA)
She hopes to show fans the other side of her life in her new memoir (Picture: Prima UK/Dan Kennedy/ PA)
Motsi Mabuse is Prima UK’s October cover star (Picture: Prima UK/Dan Kennedy/ PA)

‘I love the glitz and glamour of the show, but that’s just a small part of who I am. Nobody has seen me grow or witnessed my struggles, so I wanted to tell people about my background and show them the real me.’

Motsi began dancing at the age of six, making it her career as a competitor and teacher in her own dance school in Germany before joining the BBC show. 

Her sister Oti Mabuse has recently left Strictly for new ventures (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian)

Her sister Oti, 32, had also been a professional dancer on Strictly until recently leaving to pursue other ventures. 

Motsi admitted that it will be difficult not seeing her sister dance on the next series, adding: ‘I’ll be sad not to see her on Strictly this year. I’ll always worry about my sister, but I have to respect her decision and let her go. 

‘She’s proven that she can more than protect herself and push herself to new heights. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to fly the Mabuse flag on Strictly for as long as they want me.’

The is on sale from September 8. Motsi Mabuse’s book, Finding My Own Rhythm is out on September 8.