10 Questions For: Zakhele Mbhele

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10 Questions For: Zakhele Mbhele

Africa’s first openly gay black Member of Parliament 

1.  How would you describe what you do for a living?
I would describe it as holding public office as a Member of Parliament. 

2.  What is your most vivid childhood memory?
There are too many, but one that stands out is from boarding school, where we used to throw our shoes into the walnut tree outside the dormitories to shake the walnuts down, and then we'd use bricks or small rocks to crack open the hard shell and eat the walnuts inside. 

3.  If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?
Margaret Thatcher, Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. I find all their life stories highly compelling and would love to hear first-hand the insight and wisdom they have to share from their life experience and achievements.

4.  If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why?
"Uptown Girl". It's the only song I can sing fairly decently for karaoke.

5.  How would you complete this sentence? 
The South African cabinet should include a Minister of ____________.
… We already have too big a Cabinet. We need fewer Ministers.

6.  What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
I've been told by some people that I sometimes come across as aloof. 

7.  What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?
I love Cape Town. It offers a superior lifestyle, it's well governed and does summer best out of all the major cities in South Africa. It has issues around racial segregation in the city's social and leisure spaces but so does the rest of the country. 

8.  What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
For the longest time my biggest weakness was my tendency to be a people-pleaser, which I suppose spoke to a fear of rejection. Although, if I didn’t overcome it before going into active politics, I wouldn't have been able to endure, as a DA supporter, without being willing to face rejection and hostility!  

9.  What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?
My biggest dream for my life right now is, at a later stage, to be able to live between Cape Town and New York, spending the warm months of each city being based there. 

10.  Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why?  
I honestly have no idea. I've never been in a physical fight and so have no basis on which to judge my combat abilities! 


ABOUT #CapeTownMag10Q:’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates


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