Johannes Radebe: Reuniting with my family was like winning Strictly glitterball

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Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe has said that being reunited with his mother and sister is equivalent to winning the dance competition’s coveted glitterball.

The South African dancer’s mother Jacobeth and sister Jabu recently took their first flight to visit him in London.

Radebe told Hello! magazine that their trip to see his life and success was special as he credits them with his success.

The dancer took his mother and sister on a tour of London during their visit (Hello! magazine/PA)
The dancer took his mother and sister on a tour of London during their visit (Hello! magazine/PA)

He said: “Having them here at last is the equivalent to winning the Strictly glitterball for me.

“Until now, they’ve only been able to see my life through the TV screen or heard about it on the phone, but finally I can share it with them.”

The professional dancer took his family on a tour of the capital which he said they were “blown away by”.

He added: “It’s magical for them. But most of all, seeing for the first time where I live has been so special.

“Although I love my new life, I miss them. The older I get, the more I want them to be part of my experience. They’re my reason for being.”

Radebe joined the popular BBC dance competition in 2018, having previously been on South Africa’s version of Strictly and Dancing With The Stars.

Last year he made Strictly history alongside Bake Off star John Whaite as the first all-male couple and finished as runners-up behind soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Johannes Radebe and John Whaite made Strictly history last year as the first all-male couple (Guy Levy/BBC)

The dancer credits his mother with teaching him to be kind and to respect himself, as well as ensuring he stays grounded amid his success.

He added: “I wouldn’t have made it where I am if it weren’t for the women in my life.

“It’s always been women who have nurtured me, and my family are my motivation for everything I try to achieve.”

During her visit, his mother was able to witness a special moment as Radebe delivered an empowering message to thousands of Duke of Edinburgh gold award holders in the Buckingham Palace garden.

The dancer described it as the “best day of his life”, adding: “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would one day be standing in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, making a speech.

“The highlight was having mum there to share that moment. To see her smile means the world to me.”

His mother added: “I’m the proudest mum and felt so emotional to see my son up there. I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life.”

Read the full article in Hello! magazine, out now.

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