Celeste Khumalo chats to COSMO about her career, her style and how she manages to juggle it all

‘I can go from casual to luxurious to sexy to the girl next door.’


Celeste Khumalo has come a long way since winning Miss Teen South Africa in 2011. The talented star has been turning heads recently in numerous roles on television, while also serving as an ambassador for Cointreau.

We chatted to her about her new role in Generations: The Legacy, her style and how she manages to juggle everything.

On her career

Celeste joined the cast of Generations: The Legacy recently as Bulelwa, a human-rights lawyer. When asked how Bulelwa differs from the roles she has played in The Girl From St Agnes and The Queen, she said, ‘Bulelwa is a worldly girl who’s far more sophisticated than previous characters that I have played. She sticks by, and believes in, the justice system.’

For Celeste, the human-rights issues that she is passionate about are gender-based violence and justice for sex workers.

The entertainment industry in South Africa can be a challenging place. ‘It’s a learning curve on every production,’ she says. ‘It’s just about being best suited for certain types of productions compared to others.’

Celeste is also a businesswoman and is studying for her MBA through Regenesys Business School. When asked how she juggles all these areas of her life, she says, ‘I take breaks in-between all my ventures and allow life to take its course. At times one activity may be the focus, and at other times I find myself juggling them all and trying to fit them all in.’

She would love to play a role in an action film or series. ‘My dream role would include guns, explosions, sex appeal and power.’

On her style 

Celeste describes her personal style as ‘varied’. ‘I can go from casual to luxurious to sexy to the girl next door,’ she says. ‘It all depends on my mood for the day.’

When it comes to local designers, she has many faves. ‘At the moment, I love Rich Mnisi, French Navy Couture, Haute Afrika, Diane Paris, Laduma and Scalo,’ she says.

On her perfect Cointreau drink

For Celeste, it is all about the art of the mix. ‘I enjoy my Cointreau with either tonic or ginger beer, and like to finish it off with garnish and ice. The end result is pure bliss.’

Her advice for aspiring actors:

It’s a tough industry. One day you have a guaranteed job, and the next you don’t. One day people will not recognise you, and the next day you may be the girl a director has been looking for. There is a lot of rejection and uncertainty in the industry. You don’t have to guard your heart or develop a thick skin for haters. You need to do that for yourself and your craft. It’s unpredictable and sometimes unlovable, but it’s the best kind of job to have when all goes well.

Catch Celeste on Generations: The Legacy weekdays on SABC1 at 8pm.

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