Kabelo Ngakane


When the word “fresh” (“unique, original, vibey and cool) became part of Johannesburg's street slang, its inventors must have had Kabelo Ngakane, presenter of Hola, in mind. This twenty something-year-old Channel O favourite is as fresh as a squeezed lemon, as zany as a circus clown and as loud as a building site. Popular for his sweet smile and mischievous eyes, KB claims to be the normal one in his family, which makes you wonder just how crazy his three sisters must be.


"I like to party, because like Marvin Gaye once said music is truly the soul of man. And it’s amazing how people make bonds through sound. Well, I like to thinks so anyway."



As a youngster, Kabelo spent his time entertaining the inhabitants of the township where he grew up outside of Springs in Gauteng, South Africa. As the only boy in a family of sisters, he learnt a lot about girls at a young age.

"I love women," he says. "They're crazy people". Crazy, in Kabelo's book, is a good thing. Kabelo went to school at the prestigious Sacred Heart College and then on to Christian Brothers College where he completed his schooling.

"When I tell people that, they think I went to some kind of a monastery. No way, man. It was a Christian School, but we got up to as much mischief as you would at any school. Maybe more."

It was at school that Kabelo's interest in acting and the entertainment industry began.

"I used to act in school plays and do stand-up comedy shows and stuff, " he says. "That's when I realised that I could make money out of having fun."


Getting A Go On Channel O

Unlike many of the Channel O presenters, Kabelo started working for Channel O behind the scenes before he got a shot in front of the camera. "I worked in the Channel O office as an office assistant for a year making things happened behind the scenes before I decided to audition for a presenter slot," he says.


"In 1999 I decided that I wanted to be a presenter, so I phoned the woman who was in charge of auditions and pretended to be someone else. I didn't want her to know it was me, so I pretended that I was an Arabic dude from Morocco called Yousaf. She told me I could come and audition and when I arrived she got a big surprise when she saw it was me," he laughs at the memory. "She thought it was funny and let me audition anyway, and that, my friends, is how I got onto the greatest TV Channel on earth."


Over the last couple of years KB has achieved a lot for a young entertainer. Besides travelling the continent and hosting a number of events, he got the chance of being part of Idols. Whilst we all saw a very clean and finished product on air, Kabelo contributed immensely to that. Before the show started, during breaks and technical glitches, he was the man that made sure everyone was kept entertained –since he is a bit of a comedian on the side and were still in high spirits for the cameras.


“I quite enjoyed Idols. I knew the job was definitely going to be a challenge, because telling jokes in front of the camera is easy compared to a live audience. And plus it was a bonus seeing all those fine sistas”, he chuckkles


 He later made his reality television debut when he was in the
Big Brother house for the Celebrity Big Brother.

“Man you couldn’t pay me enough to do that again. It was really cool though, the whole isolation thing is okay but the cameras were a real trip. It is really crazy how they follow u around. When they say BB is watching you don’t realise how hectic it is but he’s watching man”


Kabelo is one young man who is definitely driven by all that he does and is quite passionate about the channel he has been part of for the last 5 years.

 "I think Channel O can hold its own with any international channel out there," he says. "The imaging is crazy cool, the videos are a mix of African music and international acts and the social awareness messages are a brilliant way to help Africa. We are doing this for the first time, we're doing it right, and we're doing it for Africa, baby!"


Making Things Happen

"I have always been inspired by people who make you laugh. Eddie Murphy is still my hero, he is working hard for comedy and he is one of the funniest people around. I also have big respect for Michael Jackson. Other than that I don’t really have role models," he says. "I think people should be themselves and not try to emulate others."


His energy is what makes him an interesting person.

"I'm a passionate dude, I am very into sport and getting out there and doing active things." His mind races ahead. "Oh yeah, and I'm crazy about food. Man, I love chicken. Oh, and another thing, I'm passionate about love, oh yeah. Love, that's my thing."


For someone with as much energy as he has, it comes as a surprise when he says he has a problem with procrastination.

"I put off doing everything until the last minute, it's a really bad habit that I am trying to break, but I always seem to do it. I suppose I like the pressure of having to deliver on the spot."


One Continent Under A Groove

"I have to admit that I am not really a music specialist.  I'm more into videos, that's my thing, but I do love some of the old stuff, like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. I love Quincy Jones too, and Lauryn Hill is crazy cool. I love African stuff like Salif Keita, Baba Maal, and Brenda Fassie. She's wicked.


Whilst doing Video Vibes he used to write his own script

"I watch a lot of videos and I try to find the cool, interesting parts to point out to the people watching. I also find out as much as I can about the artists so I can tell everyone who they are and where they're coming from. It's just my interpretation. I think people can relate because I'm just a normal dude doing my thing." Some may beg to differ, but Kabelo is definitely one popular presenter.


“It is weird being a role model to people who I have never met, but I like it. I'm not like, 'Hey, watch me, I'm cool'. I'm just doing my thing as an entertainer because that's what I am. I'm just having a good time, watching all them videos and they pay me to do it. Crazy!"


Kabelo's World

He spends most of his time with his better half-yes ladies he’s taken. “We're a team, you know what I'm saying? I believe in love. It's deep, man. When we are not together I like to hang with my homies and talk rubbish. We get together and tell jokes and laugh."

Kabelo has plans to get involved in the African film industry. Though he has no clue as to where he will be in the next ten years, one thing that’s for sure is that he wants to be a big African movie mogul.


“Big money, big Jeeps and a big contribution to the African film industry – that's my plan.”

With such a mind who can doubt what he is capable of. Kabelo is sure to stay around for a long time to come, we can all count on that.