Basetsana Kumalo says she is “disappointed” that an old video of newly crowned Zozibini Tunzi interviewing her has been taken out of context
Bassie was labelled “mean”, “condescending” and “rude” for the way she conducted herself during the interview.
The interview was shot during the Presenter Search on SABC 3 auditions in 2018.
Zozibini was one of the people who entered and got to interview Bassie on Afternoon Express along with fellow hopeful Daniel Richard.
The interview got off to a shaky start when Zozi indicated that she was not sure whether to call the former Miss South Africa “mama” or “sisi”.
Bassie schooled the future Miss Universe on the correct way to address her.
“You gotta call me Mama B darling, I’m as old as your mother probably,” she told Zozi.
The 26-year-old seemed a bit nervous during the interview and had another awkward moment with the media mogul when she asked about her train of thought during the 1994 Miss South Africa pageant.
“Well, I mean, train of thought… It’s a very strange question, by the way, to ask somebody ‘what was your train of thought?’ but anyway, let me indulge you,” Bassie replied.
The clip trended on Twitter on Wednesday with many slamming Basetsana’s behaviour
It was a side of her we were not used to seeing
After she said “Im older than your mom” i had to go look up her age. Flippin Basetsana is just 45 and behaves like a gogo. SIES!!!!pic.twitter.com/5hQJunlD8f
— Trending Videos [SA] (@TrendingVids_SA) December 11, 2019
Bassie was dragged by scores of South Africans.
Hmmmm that Basetsana and Zozi interview. Firstly, don’t you clear off air with the guest how they’d like to be addressed? What I found a bit rude was Basi not really waiting for Zozi to finish her question and the tone kula “let me indulge you” was definitely sarcastic.
— Nkosi (@nkosi___) December 11, 2019
I think that #Basetsana and #Zozi interview speaks to the Basetsana we’ve seen emerge in tabloids in recent yesrs. I think we want to hold on the the Basetsana of former years but she’s no longer a sweetheart.
— Apelele Madyibi (@ApeleleMadyibi) December 11, 2019
Basetsana behaved like many a black woman manager when dealing with a young black woman with undeniable potential. Call me “Mama B” and deconstructing Zozi’s process only to continue along the very same line. There was absolutely no need for the hostility.
— . (@owasendle) December 11, 2019
It looks like hate-loving tweeps were too quick to judge Bassie.
Producers allegedly told her to be difficult to keep Zozi and Daniel on their toes. It was a competition after all.
Several Twitter users confirmed Bassie was just going along with the brief given to her.
“#Basetsana #Bassie I remember this audition very well. The guests were briefed to be challenging or difficult and not RUDE. Another group interviewed Mark Lottering and he was quite a handful and not RUDE,” one tweep wrote.
#Basetsana #Bassie I remember this audition very well. The guests were briefed to be challenging or difficult and not RUDE. Another group interviewed Mark Lottering and he was quite a handful and not RUDE. Yena unontombi ke wakhetha ubakrwada, for ntoni? for ntoni?
— Mosuli Booi (@mosulibooi) December 11, 2019
Hours after the backlash, Bassie finally released a statement to share her side of the story
“I am very disappointed by the response my interview with Zozibini Tunzi on Afternoon Express has been generating. During the interview, I was tasked with pushing the Presenter Search on 3 contestants out of their comfort zone, as is the nature of the show and see how quickly they think on their feet and think when they’re under pressure. We, as the interviewees, were briefed to put the finalist through their paces and that’s exactly what I did with Zozi,” she said.
Bassie added that she has mentored young people for over two decades and is proud of Zozibini following her win.
She said South Africans should allow Zozi to shine instead of fuelling negative stories.
“Seeing Zozibini wear the well-deserved Miss Universe crown is a moment we all should be celebrating and applauding. South Africa is on the world stage once again with the Rugby World and now this African woman has brought immense pride to not only to South Africa, but the continent as a whole. This is what we should be focusing our collective energies on – not taking history out of context… I am a huge supporter of Zozi and have nothing but praise for the woman she is and all she has achieved.”
She has no ill feelings towards Zozibini and days before the drama took to Instagram to congratulate her after her Miss Universe victory
“Congratulations to @zozitunzi for your well deserved Miss Universe crown. You raised your hand and showed up in a magnificent way, now you have the Universe at your feet and a platform from which to make the world a better place. The world is your oyster,” she wrote.
Bassie had to turn off the comments on the post after several people who had seen their old interview clip – and clearly did not get the memo about the presenter search – sent her hateful messages.
View this post on Instagram
Congratulations to @zozitunzi for your well deserved Miss Universe crown. You raised your hand and showed up in a magnificent way, now you have the Universe at your feet and a platform from which to make the world a better place. The world is your oyster. Your serenity, grace, poise, intelligence, elegance and beauty is marvelous to witness. “When preparation meets opportunity, history is made.” – Seneca 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 #missuniverse2019