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Christmas not exactly stolen . . . Here’s how Free State stars are enjoying it as they reflect on tough 2020

Staff Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world on a scale not witnessed before – to date afflicting 970 000 and killing nearly 26 000 in South Africa alone – almost resulted in Christmas being cancelled.

While the merrymaking normally associated with the holiday is subdued, with parties and large gatherings banned, many are stopping at nothing to ensure the festive season is not exactly stolen.

The Free Stater contacted some of the Free State’s celebrities and top personalities to check how they are celebrating the not-so-normal Christmas.

We asked them: How would you sum up the year 2020? How excited are you about this Christmas and how are you planning to spend the day? What are your expectations for the year 2021?

And here are their responses:

Dr Jerry Mofokeng

JERRY MOFOKENG – Veteran film, television and theatre actor and counsellor

2020:

“2020 was like going to initiation school . . . and once again getting a lesson on life. Motivational speakers say you must never waste a crisis. So, I emerge from 2020 a wiser man and human being.

“I have had losses. I lost my brother and sister within weeks. I am the last one of my siblings left. But I think it’s my initiation into manhood because, now, I must be the man in the family.”

Christmas:

“It’s going to be a lazy reconnection time with my family. I will be with my wife, my kids and my grandkids. It will be a day for turkey and meat. I am influenced by the United States where I studied.

“We will be just talking, playing board games, playing and laughing. It’s time to reconnect as family.”

2021:

“For 2021, I have been commissioned to do a play for the Black History Month which I am going to do at the Soweto Theatre and at Kroonstad Civic Theatre. The last two weeks of February, 16-27, I am bringing a play to the Kroonstad Civic Theatre in celebration of Black History Month.

“So, for me, that starts the year very well because I am a theatre person before film and television. It’s really a great start for me and of course there are other projects coming up, and so on.

“I just think we must always be cognisant of the fact that the country is at Level 1 but COVID-19 is at Level 5. Let’s do everything with caution. If all act responsibly, we stand a chance of saving our lives and those of other people around us. Let’s act responsibly. Proceed with caution.”

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Kamo Moth

KAMO MOTH – Entertainer, TV and radio personality

2020:

“Jeez, definitely survival of the fittest and smartest. 2020 felt like the 2019 movie Escape Room – it was challenge after challenge on different levels, from emotional to physical to mental.

“But it was also a year of growth because we got to see just how tough we are as humans.”

Christmas:

“I’m generally not into things like Easter, Christmas or New Year’s Eve. To me, I celebrate these days because everyone around me celebrates.

“However, this specific Christmas is super special because I’ll be travelling to Mafikeng to surprise my dad and I’ve organised his favourite meal for lunch that side. It’s been years since we spent Christmas together which is wild because that’s my bestie.

2021:

“I expect to be booked and busy. I’m super-obsessed with my career so that’s always my focus, to be bigger and better than the previous year.”

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Oupa Mohoje

OUPA MOHOJE – Springboks and Cheetahs rugby player

2020:

“2020 has been a tough year, not just for me but for everyone in the world.

“A lot of people have lost family members due to COVID-19 and I think a lot of us learnt a lot from 2020, lessons that we can carry for the rest of our lives.

“As much as it was tough, there is always a silver lining.”

Christmas:

“Christmas for me this year will be exciting because unlike a lot of people that weren’t able to travel during this time, my family lives just round the corner because I am from Bloem.

“It’s exciting. I am going to be with my family. Spending a bit of time with them, reflecting on the year and how we can conquer 2021 going forward.

“Merry Christmas to everyone that’s not with their families. Hopefully next year will be a better time.”

2021:

“My expectations for 2021 are big. I expect to play top-class rugby. Grow in business as much as possible.

“Once again I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year. May 2021 be kinder to you than 2020 was and may we all come back safe if we travelled.”

**************************************************

Helen Namponya

HELEN NAMPONYA – Entrepreneur, public relations expert and radio presenter

2020:

“It’s definitely been unpredictable. I doubt anyone anticipated living through a pandemic. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve darn near lost my mind. I’ve learnt. I’ve grown. I’ve shed dead weight. I’ve undertaken new journeys. I’ve met new people.

It’s absolutely been a tumultuous year but I’m ever grateful for the small wins. We have to celebrate our wins in life despite difficult times.

Christmas:

“The Gabz (my daughter) said ‘PJs all day, movies and lots of food’. I can’t be mad at that.”

2021:

“Ha! Surely we have learnt not to have expectations. Sheba 20Plenty e re dira eng?

“I have no expectations for the year, but there are definitely some goals I’d like to achieve career-wise (both corporate and broadcasting).

“However, this year has taught me to take it one step at a time and to be ever ready to adjust.

“As long as my daughter, family and loved ones are safe, have roofs over their heads, food in their tummies and peace . . . I’ll take whatever 2021 has for me.”

**************************************************

Kamogelo Seekoei

KAMOGELO SEEKOEI – Entrepreneur, publisher and journalist

2020:

“2020 has been a real rollercoaster ride. So many ups and downs, from losing loved ones and friends; jobs and a sense of normality to trying to navigate what we’ve come to know as the new normal.

“Yet we have been placed in a position of becoming better people, giving more, caring more and generally being aware of the things that matter most such as maintaining good relations with humanity.

Christmas:

“Christmas for me this year is about what it was originally about, the birth of Christ and sharing . . . I did not even have the tree up this year for this very reason.

“I will spend the day with family over a scrumptious lunch as we usually do.

“But we will definitely be fewer people as some will not be travelling home.

2021:

“I’m feeling 2021. I’m expecting only good things. Personally, I had a not-so-good 2019 but it turned out it was great preparation for 2020.

“So my thoughts are that after the year we have had, spending almost six months inside our houses, nothing can be worse.

“Wishing everyone a meaningful Christmas and a ridiculously awesome 2021.”

**************************************************

Leah Molatseli

LEAH MOLATSELI – Attorney, legal technology expert and entrepreneur

2020:

“2020 has been a year of appreciation, gratitude and growth.”

Christmas:

“I don’t celebrate Christmas. So it’ll be a normal lazy day for me and mine.”

2021:

“I’m looking forward to building and creating better legal tech solutions for businesses so that legal services are accessible and affordable to and for them via Lenoma Legal.”

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