ONE of the Eastern Cape’s most talented exports of recent years is about to make her mark overseas, having been chosen as a judge for a new UK talent search reality series.
Television host and model Sinazo Yolwa, 25, is originally from Mthatha and is now one of South Africa’s most popular media personalities.
She recently landed a spot as the judge of The Big Search, with shooting to begin in Birmingham, Manchester and London this week.
Produced by Flood Lights Productions, the show will then be broadcast in the UK, Nigeria and, eventually, South Africa.
However, she said her fans should not be worried as she was not leaving South Africa anytime soon, since she would return here after filming.
“I got the job through my agents, Creative Solutions, who are based in the UK.
“They sent my profile out to various production companies and that is how I came to be a judge of The Big Search.
“This means a lot for my career as I am going to get international exposure. It also means I am growing and becoming recognised as an entertainer of value,” she said.
Yolwa, who was raised in the Eastern Cape by a single mother, initially made a name for herself as a model before venturing into television.
Her first presenting job was as the host of SABC3’s A-List, which looked at the glitz, glamour and personalities of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Her big break came when she joined lifestyle show Top Billing in 2011 as a presenter.
She has not looked back and is now the host of reality dance show, So You Think You Can Dance and a presenter on SABC1 lifestyle show, The Link.
Yolwa recently also joined Phat Joe as co-host of Real Goboza, Mzansi’s leading entertainment news show.
She was chosen from thousands of women from not only the UK but other African countries to be a judge on the show.
Her own journey to success makes her an ideal choice for The Big Search, since it is a search for the next “big” African television presenter.
In the show will have a format similar to that of America’s Next Top Model, where television hopefuls will be tasked with various challenges and each week one contestant will be eliminated.
“I cannot begin to describe how amazing this opportunity is. It is definitely a springboard to launching myself in countries outside South Africa.
“It will also be most fulfilling to me to actually watch someone else’s dream come true.
“I am living my dream and so I can relate to that,” said an excited Yolwa, who often visits her home province and “completely adores” her grandmother and mother, who still live in Mthatha.