BBC announces one-off South Africa special with Oti Mabuse

The professional dancer will journey home to film the documentary for BBC One.

Press Association
Last updated: 15 January 2020 - 10.20am

Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse will travel back to her home country of South Africa to film a one-off BBC special.

Titled Oti’s South African Odyssey, the Strictly star will be hoping to show viewers “her South Africa”, a country “she feels is often misunderstood and she will show us a land of beauty, diversity, and hope”.

The 29-year-old said of the BBC One programme: “To be asked by the BBC to do my very own documentary about something that is so close to my heart is an absolute privilege and I am deeply humbled.

“I can’t wait to show the viewers where I grew up and take them on the journey that got me to where I am today. I truly hope they love South Africa like I do.”

According to the BBC, she will travel across the country, including a journey to Mabopane where she grew up, situated near the outskirts of the country’s administrative capital, Pretoria.

Mabuse was crowned the winner of the 2019 series of Strictly alongside her partner, soap star Kelvin Fletcher, having joined the series in 2015.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Kelvin Fletcher with Oti Mabuse after the actor won the Glitterball trophy (BBC)

She has also previously partnered boxer Anthony Ogogo, Hollyoaks star Danny Mac and Paralympian Jonnie Peacock.

Last year her sister, Motsi, joined Strictly as a judge, replacing ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell on the panel.

Oti has also been seen on BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer as a dance captain, winning the first series of the show last year with her act, teenage contemporary dancer Ellie Fergusson.

According to the BBC, her journey back to South Africa comes eight years after she left her home country to venture overseas.

She has competed in the German version of Strictly Come Dancing and was named South African Latin American champion eight times.

View this post on Instagram

I have so many things to write about the people in these pictures that I honestly feel like it will be the length of an encyclopaedia. 13 weeks spent with both @kelvin_fletcher and @dannymaconline has been the best life lesson anyone can learn and I couldn’t be more grateful ❤️ wish you both luck for all your future endeavours, I’ll be by the sidelines screaming and clapping the loudest obviously 😂. And super super proud of you 😘@oreodubaofficial I’m so proud of you WEST END buddy I know it’s been a dream of yours and youve achieved it sending you positive vibes and joy for this new adventure also so lovely to see @portiajett 💜 and last but certainly Not least @carleystenson1 you are a queen and I’m sooooo proud of you you smashed. Triple threat #Strictly #friendships #curtains

A post shared by Oti Mabuse (@otimabuse) on

Sister Motsi last year spoke of their childhood in South Africa, and the struggles they faced growing up in the post-apartheid era.

She told The Mirror: “Finding people to give us the instructions was difficult. It was a very difficult time in South Africa, so to be a little girl and push yourself in this type of dancing, where there are no other black girls, was really tough”.

Kate Phillips, controller of BBC Entertainment, said: “We’re looking forward to taking BBC One’s dancing sensation Oti Mabuse back to her home in South Africa, to show us the country she believes is often misunderstood, in Oti’s South African Odyssey.”

Other new shows announced by the BBC include Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars as well as the return of BBC Two’s The Ranganation and BBC Three’s Angels Of The North.

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