Bongani Fassie has been in the spotlight since he was a baby. That’s understandable – he’s the son of one of South Africa’s most loved and successful singers, Brenda Fassie. While he had a superstar mother and lived a comfortable and soft life in his younger years, life dealt him many challenges after his mother passed away.
The singer and producer’s new reality show premiered on Moja Love on Saturday, 5 June 2021, and the first episode introduced viewers to the real side of Bongani.
Here are five things we learned about him on the first episode.
Bongani was Brenda’s reason for living
Veteran South African journalist and TV personality Kuli Roberts shared that Bongani gave Brenda a reason to live. “Because, you know, all the fame gets exhausting after a while because you’re just an ATM or a cash cow and nobody really cares about you. And Bongani, her little baby, was the only person who gave her a reason to live.”
He didn’t have a relationship with his father
Bongani’s father was Big Dudes band member, Dumisani Ngubeni, who was married to Brenda (they later divorced). Bongani explained that he was not raised by his father.
“In fact, I don’t even know my father. I don’t know him, I met him once.” He added: “My father passed on; he was shot.”
Bongani said he doesn’t remember attending the funeral. “But he’s in a better place now.”
His aunt Lindi Fassie revealed that Dumisani was abusive towards Brenda. “She had to apply a lot of base for her make-up. It would be thick to ensure that the bruises were not visible.”
His mother always included him in everything
One thing Bongani loved and appreciated about his late mother is that she always included him in everything.
“There are so many songs that MaBrrr sang about me. What I loved about MaBrrr the most is that even through her hardships, trials and tribulations, living through painful times, I was her light – in a big way that I still don’t understand today.”
He shared that she used to tell him, “My child, you are the reason why I am the person that I am today. My child, I love you. I love you so much and don’t ever forget that.”
Bongani comes from an artistic family
Bongani’s uncle Themba Fassie shared that their family is full of artists.
“You know, my mom was a piano player of note. My dad was also a piano player and singer. So, Brenda and then my big brothers were working with bra Gibson Kente and my other brother Japan Fassie, who is the firstborn,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lindi recalled how Bongani never liked playing outside when he was younger. “He liked being indoors and he would play the piano. Do you get me? Because Brenda had a piano as big as brother Themba’s one.”
Bongani is just like his mother
The singer and producer believes that being human stays forever.
“Even if you have no money. Even if you’re a nobody, humanness will take you far,” he said on the show. He gets this quality from his late mother.
“Bongani is a saviour,” Lindi said. “Just like Brenda, as she had given many children an opportunity to go to school. For instance, when you passed your matric, Brenda used to say, ‘when you have passed matric well, come to me. I will cover your tuition fees.’”
Watch Finding Bongani Fassie every Saturday on Moja Love, DStv channel 157, and express to DStv online.
This episode will be available on DStv online until 27 Aug 2021.