Last updated on Jan 28th, 2021 at 11:39 am

Real Housewives of Johannesburg executive producer Sonia Mbele is the golden girl of television right now; but she recalls a time when things were much darker

Sonia is riding high on the wave of a successful season of Real Housewives and enjoying a much-deserved return to the forefront of local entertainment. She’s not out for the fame, however; but instead to see her content find a home.

However, things were not looking so positive for the former Generations actress five years ago, when the first attempt to flight the show fell apart.

Sonia spoke to The Juice this week to reveal how, after initially spearheading the idea for the show, the producer was forced to walk away when she was relegated to what she describes as “intern level” work:

“I was no longer producer but told I needed to make coffee for people, hang curtains, move boxes and basically do the work of an intern. That is not what I had signed up to do. I was supposed to deal with bigger issues, but I was made to deal with broken doorknobs. Those people truly mistreated me.”

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After resigning under humiliating circumstances, depression hit her and before she knew it, she found herself unable to care for her children

It seemed as if every possible solution she was attempting was just not working:

“I tried therapy, but it didn’t work. Things got so bad I would even google ways of committing suicide and going out quickly and pain-free because I’d had enough of my life,” she said.

This is not the first time that Sonia Mbele has opened up about suffering from depression.

In fact, in 2018 she referenced this dark time in her past, revealing that she had even researched suicide methods:


However, in this week’s interview with The Juice, she revealed exactly what helped her turn everything around

After visiting a clinic, Sonia admitted that she was ready to check herself in. But a nurse helped her realise that she had all the tools and determination that she needed to recover:

“I had a vision of myself in an institution, standing at a window and watching my children play outside – being trapped in a room, unable to go anywhere or move. I don’t know what happened, but I became determined to work hard on pulling myself out of the depression.”

Fast forward five years and Sonia is more determined than ever to see her content flourish on television. After the success of Real Housewives of Johannesburg, the producer hinted that more exciting programming is on the way.

“I have a lot of content and in the past five years, I literally didn’t sleep. I put ideas down and created shows. This year I’m looking to pilot the ideas and make them into reality television” she said.

Have you ever battled with depression? At what point did you find the tools and resources to be able to manage the illness in your life?