Somizi Mhlongo & Lesley Mofokeng
As he revelled in the spotlight at the launch of his biography last week, Somizi Mhlongo admitted that he hasn’t actually read his own book.
Titled Dominoes: Unbreakable Spirit, the biography is credited to both Mhlongo and journalist Lesley Mofokeng. It tells the story of the Idols South Africa judge’s extraordinary life; from child star to the country’s most visible gay celebrity.
In the biography, Mhlongo opens up about discovering his sexuality and coming to terms with it, as well as the scandals and controversies that have accompanied his career and public life.
The book was launched at a star-studded event on Wednesday at Exclusive Books in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park Corner. It was also attended by Mhlongo’s mother, Mary, and daughter, Bahumi.
Speaking to the Sunday Times at the launch, Mhlongo, who was reportedly decked out in R25,000 designer shoes, revealed he still hasn’t finishing reading Dominoes. According to the newspaper, he explained that this was due to “his busy schedule and short attention span”.
How is that possible, if he was one of the writers, you may ask? Well, it turns out the book was written by Mofokeng based on voice notes from Mhlongo.
“With Somizi we used a lot of technology – voice notes,” Mofokeng told Sowetan. “We didn’t spend a lot of time seated and talking, because of his hectic schedule.”
Mhlongo is an actor, choreographer and reality TV star. He hosted the 2005 talk show Intimate Connexionz as his drag alter ego Madame Gigi. He also appeared in movies such as Sarafina and Cry the Beloved Country. He was an immediate hit as an Idols South Africa judge when he joined the panel in 2015.
In January, Mhlongo’s angry social media post about an anti-gay sermon at The Grace Bible Church, led to a national debate on homophobia in the church.