The Youngsters: Anele Mdoda // The Youngsters: Anele Mdoda(The Youngsters: Anele Mdoda)

Known for never not having something to say about something, the fabulous radio presenter takes aim at alcohol, men, weaves and more with her book, It Feels Wrong to Laugh, But ...


Hello! Oh good, no camera. That means I can eat while we talk!

How difficult is that - to have to appear in a certain way in the public eye?

I don't think it's that serious. People like to go: "Woah! Can't go to the shop!" Get over yourself, really! It's not that serious. If you are always yourself, then you don't need to remember who you were the last time you were pretending to be someone. Your life will be easier. And that's the route I took. You know, I'll just be myself. Plus, I have a sh** memory. I would be caught out all the time: "But you said..." I don't think it's that serious.

So it's about being honest with yourself?

The public doesn't put pressure on you. You put pressure on yourself by thinking this is what the public wants. When people ask me: "What should I do to be in the public eye?" I say: "You don't want to be in the public eye!" You want to be good at what you do, then you'll be in the public eye. Furthermore, be yourself, because when you get in it's so easy to change every time somebody says something. Like, oh, I don't like the way Anele does this. Then you change how you do that. Then somebody doesn't like how you changed then, so you'll never stop changing! Just go in and say: "Hey, guys, this is me." And be very okay with the fact that some people won't be okay with that.

Bill Cosby said the secret to failure is to try and please everyone.

Yes! You have to love Bill Cosby!

What made you decide, "Yes, I'm writing this book"?

It was such a challenge and I'm that kind of person. I did the Argus, not because I thought I could do it, but because I thought I couldn't! So I wondered if I could write a book, so let's see if I could do it. And you know when you've already said yes to something - then you keep yourself at it, because you don't want to disappoint people. They picked me and they needed five people, so I can't pull out. So I'd sit there and think: "Yoh! I owe them a chapter!"

Did you try to hide and say you can't do this?

Oh, ja! You should ask Mandy: there were times when they'd call and I would not answer their calls. They'd email and I would not answer their emails. I'd say... "O, I'm sick!" [makes sickly cough noises]. But apparently that happens with all writers. You can't say to somebody: "Write!" You have to be in your space. And towards the end of me writing I found how to get into my space. If I figured that out earlier, the process would have been much easier!

Would you write another book or has the itch been scratched?

Ja, the itch has been scratched for now. I think I'll write another book about somebody else, because I love to research other people. The whole writing your point of view about yourself is a bit narcissistic. I'd love to write a book about somebody else. I love Winnie Mandela. To possibly sit for a year and research her and write about her - that would be great.

She's a really enigmatic figure.

Yoh! She is! And she's a pinch of everything. She's a pinch of evil, a pinch of good, a pinch of strong, a pinch of weak, a pinch of vulnerable, a pinch of beautiful... she's just a pinch of everything! I'd like to dive into that properly.

What's your book about? What would the reader get?

You'll get me. You'll actually hear my voice as you are reading. It's literally just me speaking about things that I think and things that I see, things that I find funny and things that are not funny, but I laugh.

Did you feel you had a message you want to impart?

No, this is not going to change your life. It's going to make you laugh and you might pee yourself laughing, but you're not going to decide to climb Mount Everest tomorrow. That decision you'll have to make on your own.

Are you the light reading interval between the other books?

I think everyone here's book is light in their own way. I think Khaya is the grown-up - in his humour he's telling you something. But in my humour I'm just humouring you.

You do tackle some interesting topics though, like comparing alcohol to being yourself.

I always look at what people drink. And not the first time. I look at how many times you change your drink in one night. If you have a beer, then a vodka then a whiskey - I don't trust you. Why don't you know what you're drinking. And it's not only a case of being unhealthy to mix. Why can't you stick to one drink? Why change your drink five times in one night? You're shifty!

Unless the drinks are bought for you.

Then you are a very hot girl! Good for you!

Find Anele on Twitter: @Anele

Read the interview with Mandy Weiner here, and the interview with Danny K here.

Would you like to own a set of The Youngsters books? Why not enter our competition? Two lucky people stand the chance of winning an entire set! All to themselves.

Simply answer the following question: Which division of Pan Macmillan is responsible for bringing The Youngsters series of books to South Africans?

Send your answer to with the subject "The Youngsters" by July 4 2012 and you could win! Only one entry is allowed per person, and only those residing in South Africa may enter. Good luck!