She’s always smiling on our TV screens, but Oti Mabuse has a sad family secret.
The Greatest Dancer coach’s sister has written a book, where she reveals the family’s devastation over losing their older half-brother to suicide when he was just 18.
Oti, 28 – who grew up in a town called Mabopane, close to the capital of South Africa, Pretoria – has two sisters, Motsi and Phemelo.
Motsi is also a professional dancer, and works on a German show called Let’s Dance. She’s released a book over there, called Chili in the Blood: My Dance Through Life.
According to The Mirror, in the book she reveals how their half-brother Neo killed himself .
She writes: “He killed himself. And because the people of Africa are very religious and superstitious, something bad arose in our neighbourhood.
“With the suicide of Neo, our family was seen as one where there was a negative energy. Because of this rumour, no one came to us any more, because it was feared that the bad energy applied to the visitor.”
A year later, in 1982, the family moved 150 miles away to the township of Mabopane.
ED! has contacted a rep for comment.
Strictly Come Dancing star, Oti has been winning new fans as a mentor on the BBC’s flagship new talent show The Greatest Dancer.
She’s joined on the panel by singer Cheryl Tweedy and Glee star Matthew Morrison as ‘dance captains’, while Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Diversity star Jordan Banjo present.
The first episode last weekend pulled in nearly 5million viewers, with many complimenting the format.
The debut episode saw the in-studio audience vote for dance acts, with those receiving 75% going through to the next stage, where they will be mentored by Oti and the gang.
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