Strictly Come Dancing's Motsi Mabuse: Being Black is not just a hashtag

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
Picture Shows:  Motsi Mabuse - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Motsi Mabuse has said the Black Lives Matter movement must be more than a trend. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has said it is important to ensure the Black Lives Matter movement is seen as more than just a passing trend.

The 39-year-old dancer - who returned to the judging panel on the BBC show this weekend after two weeks quarantining - said while it was good that the BLM movement had sparked conversation, what matters most is continuing that long-term.

Mabuse told Woman and Home magazine: "It’s good that people are having the Black Lives Matter conversation. It’s important this is not just a trend. Being Black is not a hashtag.

Read more: 'Strictly' judge Motsi Mabuse emotionally recalls tough childhood under apartheid

"I want to see sustainable and long-term change, not just talk."

The South African star currently lives in Germany where she has a dance school and has appeared as a judge on the German versions of Strictly and Britain’s Got Talent.

Motsi Mabuse during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on New Year's Eve. Picture date: Wednesday December 18, 2019.
Motsi Mabuse grew up in South Africa during apartheid. (PA)

Mabuse - whose younger sister Oti Mabuse is a professional dancer on Strictly - said she does not underestimate the importance of being a Black person on primetime television.

She added: "I am one of the very few Black people in Germany on TV, and on the BBC. I understand my responsibility of representing Black people and I don’t take it for granted."

Mabuse was absent from Strictly for two weeks to enable her to self-isolate for an urgent trip home to Germany.

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She revealed on Instagram that there had been an attempted break-in at the dance school she runs with her husband Evgenij Voznyuk, and so she returned to the country to help with police enquiries.

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Strictly pro dancer Anton du Beke - who has long been tipped for a judging role on the show - stood in for Mabuse in her absence.

Read more: Motsi Mabuse talks about Strictly curse

His celebrity partner former Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith was the first person to be sent home this year.

Du Beke said: “Thank goodness they gave me that job. My ego was around my ankles after getting booted off first this year.”

Watch: Motsi Mabuse recall experiences of racism in her childhood