She has no doubt caught everyone’s eye as the character Faith on the intriguing soapie, The River, or blown fans away as a presenter on Massive Music on Mzansi Magic, but TV personality, actress, model and business owner Anele ‘Ney’ Zondo is only getting started.
Her ongoing passion for fashion has also established her as one of South Africa’s freshest faces in the modelling world, but brace yourself – she is more determined than ever to take South Africa by storm.
The youngest of four daughters, Anele was born in Newcastle (KwaZulu-Natal), with both her parents working at educating the future generations of the country, with her mom being a teacher and her dad a principal.
After matriculating, Anele obtained a Media Studies diploma through Boston Media House, but the limelight called and she soon became a firm favourite choice to feature in some of the most popular television shows.
Although accomplishing what other seasoned celebrities can only dream of at such a young age, Anele remains incredibly humble. “I still get surprised when people recognise me, but I interact with them and try to make sure they go home with something meaningful from our encounter,” she says.
Get ready to be surprised about who the real “Anele” is
But what might surprise her fans the most is that Anele says that she is sensitive and gets socially awkward at times. She however describes herself as “cool, fun, a sensitive extrovert and smart”. Perhaps it is her philosophy in life that ensures she is rewarded with success after success, as she states: “If you can think it, then believe it. Apply yourself and know that you can achieve it.”
Her true colours are revealed when she speaks about what legacy she would one day like to leave behind: “I would love to leave behind generational knowledge, knowing that what I did and built can carry on for years after me, and that the people I impacted will in turn impact others to dream big and be exactly who they think they are and can be.”
One of the differences she would like to make is a crucial one, as she shares: “I’m very big on stopping girl on girl hate. My motto is to be the change I want to see in my community.”
For Anele, she is proud of every single achievement to date as she does not take any of them for granted and therefore would not want to highlight one over the other as her personal favourite. A very wise outlook on life…
Claiming to be far from perfect, Anele identifies her own flaws (that she is working on) as trying to stick to a routine as “I’m such a day by day person”, as well as overthinking everything. She however adds: “It serves me well sometimes – as it ensures I’m prepared for anything.”
And of course she gets nervous at times, admitting: “I get about three seconds of nerves every time before I go on stage or on camera, but I think it’s positive adrenaline and that sparks my fire in turn.”
Besides her siblings, Anele’s role models include Jennifer Lawrence and Giuliana Rancic. “Locally I love me some Thando Thabethe, Minnie and Queen B,” she adds.
When her busy schedule allows for it, she enjoys reading, watching documentaries and traveling.
But wow – can Anele be fun!
And get this, her hidden talents include twerking (“or is it really hidden anymore”), and some fun facts about her include that she can rap, she loves cooking, she changes her hair every week, she is a lover “so I cry when I’m happy” and she is the world’s best secret keeper, as well as a person who hates gossip.
In conclusion she states: “I really hope that as far as possible, I’ll have my own impact on the world, influence people positively and remain successful.”
Well, with her go-get-attitude, humble nature, infectious personality, drop-dead-gorgeous looks and that sought after X-factor, it is doubtful that Anele has anything to worry about in achieving anything she envisions.
As a queen of social media (yes, she has over 117,000 Instagram followers), but sure to join her in conversation on Twitter and Instagram (@neythebae_sa).