Getting to Know : Gail Nkoane


We sat down with South African singer, model and actress best known as one of the Top 14 finalists on the sixth season of the M-Net reality competition Idols, in 2010 and as Lelo Sedibe on The Wild.

Who is Gail, where are you from and how did you get started in this field?
I’m a big, BIIIIG dreamer from Kimberley.  My career in this industry pretty much started many, many years ago.  My mom must have seen the potential when she entered me into my first talent competition ‘Miss Tinkerbell’ when I was 5yrs old.  Since then, I developed a genuine love for the entertainment industry, so that is pretty much when and how it started. In 2001 I made the Top 5 of Miss Teen SA. I also ran my own events management company with my father in Kimberley for a while.

When did you first discover your creative talents?
From a very young age I simply enjoyed it, but it was only when I got older that I realised that I could actually make a living out of it! 🙂 The amazing thing however is that I continue discovering new talents and things about myself everyday, and that keeps my life exciting because once I’ve discovered it, I GO FOR IT!!!

How would you describe your “life journey” up to today, in 5 words?
OMW…are you serious??? Hahahaha LOL yes,
Like, I could write a book on that!!! Hmmmm…I’d say Exhilirating, Challenging, Memorable, Fulfulling & Humbling. I have enjoyed every moment that has led up to now.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started?
I don’t really know because life only truly make sense when you ‘connect the dots backwards’ … when you go through life experiences, it’s only once everything falls into place that you realise that it was all part of God’s greater plan for your life.  So as a result, I look at the bad choices and mistakes for example that I’ve made and I have no regrets, purely because I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

What are the major challenges that you face as a public person, are you free to do whatever and with whomever you want?
Nope, and I don’t think that ANYONE is free to do ‘whatever with whomever they want’.  I guess the biggest challenge for me is the fact that your private space and life is not as ‘respected’ as one would like it to be.  But ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, so I embrace the fact that I am here by choice…I could have chosen a career that is not in the public eye…but then I would be unhappy…so in order to live a content life doing what I love, I’ll take the challenges as they come.

How do you deal with the pressure of being a public figure and making sure that you don’t lose yourself within fame and success?
I suppose I always remind myself that besides the ‘public’ aspect, my job is no different from anyone elses.  Everyone is grinding and hustling and striving to provide a living and achieve greater things…’fame’ can so quickly be taken away, so to build a life around that and have that define me is giving it too much power…I’ve defined myself outside of my ‘public figure’ status, because that is the person I am and always will be … as for success…its a never ending journey and I’d hate to get to a point where I feel that ‘I’ve arrived’

Is there anything you have on your Bucket List -something in your life that you want to have or do, that has yet to be accomplished?
Apart from bungy jumping and raising my 5 children, I wish to constantly grow…you know ‘they’ say that you are only as good as your last accomplishment, so growth and development will always be on my bucket list!

How do you deal with the pressure of being a public figure and making sure that you do not lose yourself within fame and success?
I suppose I always remind myself that besides the ‘public’ aspect, my job is no different from anyone elses.  Everyone is grinding and hustling and striving to provide a living and achieve greater things…’fame’ can so quickly be taken away, so to build a life around that and have that define me is giving it too much power…I’ve defined myself outside of my ‘public figure’ status, because that is the person I am and always will be … as for success…its a never ending journey and I’d hate to get to a point where I feel that ‘I’ve arrived’

How do you use the influence that you have on the youth and the entertainment industry to instill positivity and guide those who look up to you?
As mentioned earlier, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.  At no point do I take for granted the platform that I have been afforded. I consider it a blessing and take it very seriously.  The youth in particular hold a very special place in my heart, and it is my desire to get more involved in guiding and mentoring them.  I think that today’s young people are faced with many more challenges than when I was 17, and now more than ever they need role models and not so much somebody that they perceive as ‘perfect’ (because no such person exists), but someone who is a living testimony that dreams do come true, if only we are brave enough to pursue them!

Tell us more about your experience as the brand ambassador for ALWAYS?
ALWAYS PLATINUM is a premium product that has recently been launched in South Africa.  This product was designed to offer women ‘a touch of luxury where they’d least expect it’.  Thanks to Always Platinum, we have an opportunity to add luxury to our lives daily.  Being aligned to a product like this not only speaks of who I am as a person, but I’m also excited about the platform its affording me to encourage other women to embrace their womanhood.  This subject has been taboo for many years, so I appreciate the boldness from Always Platinum in urging women to embrace any day of the month with luxury.  I also look forward to getting more involved in the ‘ Always Keeping A Girl In School Campaign’.  Having an opportunity to give back is always a blessing!

What’s your favourite quote?
Hahaha…since I’ve used it more than once in this interview…’WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY’…but I’ve got many…one for whatever season of my life I’m in!

If your daughter was to tell you that she wants to follow in your footsteps, would you give her your blessings?
ABSOLUTELY!!! 🙂 If I’s what she genuinely loves and enjoys, I would support her every step of the way!!!

What do you want to be remembered for?
For the person I am…for the contribution I’ve made to the lives of those around me…for the contribution I’ve made to my industry and my country…for me.

You have so many wonderful things on your plate! What’s next for you?
I am indeed blessed and I am very grateful.  Yho…there is SO much more coming!!! I’m working on my music at the moment and hope to release my single soon, that is very exciting.  Then I’m working towards tapping into my business side again, which I’m also looking forward to.  I’m also very excited about partnering with and amazing brand which has loads of heritage…but you will have to keep your eye on the media for that one!

Complete the sentence:

My Star Sign Is… Capricorn
My Favourite Restaurant is … My Dad’s Kitchen 🙂
I can’t start my day without … Dreaming and Praying 🙂
My Favourite colour is… Green (But this changes very often)

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7 thoughts on “Getting to Know : Gail Nkoane

  1. I just discovered this blog and I’m in love! Saw Gail’s beautiful optics from her Always Platinum shoot! Such a beauty!

  2. Gail is so beautiful.. Didn’t know she could sing, only started seeing her on the wild and I googled Lelo the wild to find out who her real name is

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