South Africa’s very own gossip blogger, Mika Stefano, has a lot to say about local celebrity culture. Not only does he relentlessly dish out the dirt on our favourite local stars on his blog, www.mikastefano.com, he is also one of Johannesburg’s most flamboyant socialites.
In fact, Mika is learning from the new generation of international celebs – many of whom are famous for being famous – and is taking self promotion to new highs in South Africa. He even earned a nod as one of the Mail & Guardian’s ‘300 Young South Africans You Must Take to Lunch’ this year. If you haven’t seen him around, you’re obviously going to the wrong places. Mambaonline decided to find out more about the man behind the blog…
Describe yourself in three words…
Audacious, zealous and provocative!
Do you have a special someone in your life at the moment?
Sadly I don’t… My friends are very close to me. We are like the Sex and the City girls.
When you do get involved, would you ever plan on getting married?
If I meet my Mr. Big, then maybe…
When did you come out?
I think I have always been gay. I came out to my family in high school. I was openly gay at school, before I came out at home.
Who was the first person you told?
Wow, I don’t think I ever told anyone I was gay. I think it was always assumed.
What’s the best thing about living in South Africa?
The opportunities! There is so much happening in our country; we have lots of new developments and exciting things planned for the near future. South Africa is filled with so many different stories. We have over 11 official languages, we are one of the very few countries that allow same-sex marriages and we have so many different cultures all in one country. We may have a dark past but we have a brighter future.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I love to eat. There are many places I like: Schwarma Co, Lekgotla, Chicken Licken, Nando’s and JB’s Corner. But my latest discovery is this small restaurant called Bismillah’s in Fordsburg. It is this simple little restaurant, but they make the best curries. It looks like a little cafe, but the food is out of this world. Not only is the food delicious, the service is outstanding.
Where would one generally find you on a weekend night?
Some of my favourite spots are Inc, Moloko, Latinova, Simply Blue and the monthly V2 parties at Lemon8. I like going to themed parties, so if the party seems worth the effort, you will see me there.
What albums are blaring through your speakers at the moment?
International artists on high rotation include Lady Gaga and Ciara. Also Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas and Michael Jackson. Locally, DJ Lucky vs. DJ Lacoste. I’m also listening to the new Chomee CD. She has done cover songs of the late Brenda Fassie and Lebo. I don’t really like the CD though… who does she think she is, to do cover songs of great pop icons? She has also done covers of Madonna and Boom Shaka. I’m also loving Thembi Seete’s new CD…
How do you get around town?
I have a little white golf, called Snow White. I have thought of branding it and making it the Mikamobil but I will wait until I get my four-by-four to start branding. I’m also scared that if I brand it, some of my victims will take out their anger on my little Snow White.
If your house caught on fire, what would you save from the blaze?
I hate talking about my house burning down, because I so often leave my hair iron on… but for the purpose of this interview, I would have to try save as many items from my closet as possible. Items saved would include all my scarves, sunglasses, jackets and shoes. Most of my photos are on Facebook, so I wouldn’t need to save them. And I usually have my laptop and blackberry on me at all times, so that stuff should be safe too.
“I am flattered that people compare me to Perez Hilton. But let me make this clear, I am Mika Stefano…”
If you inherited a large sum of cash, what would you spend it on?
The Mika Stefano International Fashion Label, TV Show, Radio Show, TV Game, Mika Stefano flagship store and www.mikastefano.com.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be famous. It didn’t matter what I did, as long as I was famous.
What did you end up becoming, once you had grown up?
I am the marketing, Front of House Manager of the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square. I am also a socialite extraordinaire who has a well read gossip column. I like to think of myself as a trend setter. I have also been a guest DJ on several radio stations and a guest presenter on a few different TV programs. I will also be presenting my own Top 20 International chart show on TransAfrica. I am also working on the Mika Stefano Cartoon…
Do you love your job?
Yes, all of them…
What was the last movie you saw on the big screen?
Bruno and The Hangover. I’m also planning on seeing District 9 when it comes out.
If you could have dinner with five people, living or deceased, who would they be?
Nelson Mandela, Oprah, Simon Nkoli, Tyra Banks and BeyoncÃ©. Tyra Banks has created an empire, and she has turned herself into a personal brand. I would also love to meet Simon Nkoli, the South African gay activist who passed away from Aids. Oprah has to be one of the most influential women in the world. Nelson Mandela, need I say more? And BeyoncÃ©, I am a fan…
Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Are you harbouring any celebrity crushes at the moment?
It’s a long list [Laughs]… but the top 10 are Da LES (rapper), Lungile (Channel O presenter), Maxson Mmethi (model), Trever Noah (comedian), Kaizer Jnr (soccer player), Ryk Neethling (swimmer), Loyiso Bala (singer), Stevel Marc (model), Janez (TV presenter) and at the top, Sizwe (MTVBase and YFM DJ).
Why did you start your own gossip blog?
My gossip column started off on Facebook. I was entered into a 5FM competition, and I decided to use a Facebook group to collect votes. Sadly I didn’t win, however I enjoyed using the group as a platform to voice my opinions and surprisingly, people enjoyed reading what I had to say. I decided to start commenting on different events I would attend. And that it is how the gossip column was created.
Do you intend on becoming South Africa’s very own Perez Hilton?
No. Honestly, it’s sad that people always compare South Africans to international stars. Joost and Amore were compared to the Beckhams, Khanyi Mbau is compared to Paris Hilton, Nonhle Thema is compared to Giuliana Rancic and Uyanda Mbuli is compared to Kimora Lee Simmons. I suppose people find it easier to identify local personalities with international profiles. I am flattered that people compare me to Perez Hilton. I have also been compared to Boy George. But let me make this clear, I am Mika Stefano. South Africa’s very own Mika Stefano!
Why do you think that most gossip publications in SA have such little info about local celebs?
Because most local publications are lazy. It is so easy for Melinda [the editor of Heat Magazine] and other publications to ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ from interna