Dr. Felicia Mabuza-Suttle is a Businesswoman, a talk show host, an international award-winning entrepreneur, an inspirational speaker, an author and a philanthropist.
She was born in Sophiatown which is a black neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South Africa during the apartheid era. According to Wiki during her childhood years she became interested in dance which became a lifelong pursuit.
In the 1960s and 70s a large number of black South Africans went overseas to study to evade the apartheid regime. Dr. Mabuza-Suttle was amongst them, studying at Marquette University in the United States. In the 80s, she became the first member of her family to achieve a college degree when she earned a BA in Journalism and followed with a MA in Mass Communication.
While studying she also wrote for the World Newspaper.
In 1982 she returned for a short time to South Africa to work for Radio Bophutatswana where she was criticised for being politically incorrect.
In 1990 she returned to South Africa permanently after accepting a position at the South African Airways.
In 1992 she began her television career after being offered a job as a talk show host at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Talk shows were a fairly new concept in South Africa at the time and her show rapidly became popular. It was the first South African talk show hosted by a black woman. The show’s slogan was called “The talk show that gets South Africa talking” which seems very appropriate.
Originally known as “Top Level” its name was changed to “The Felicia Show” in 1995 and was again renamed to just “Felicia” in 2000. Her show also made a move to ETV. The show focused mainly on social topics, but also ventured into entertainment.
She has interviewed Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Arch bishop Desmond Tutu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Britain’s former first lady, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, T.D. Jakes and many, many others.
She has her own line of eye wear Felicia Eye wear as well as Felicia brand of clothing and accessories.
She sits on the board of directors at Pamodzi Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a multi billion-rand investment company with interest in food services, insurance, mining, hospitality, automotive and IT.
She is also part owner of Back O’ The Moon restaurant at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.
She published her bestselling autobiography “Dare to Dream” in 2002.
Her second book “Live Your Dream” is a sequel to her first book on how she made her dream a reality and encourages young people to ensure that no one and nothing should stop them from accomplishing their dream.
The SABC television show “Great South Africans” voted her among the “100 Great South Africans” of all time.
She has also received numerous business awards-including the Progress (Impumelelo) Top 300 Empowerment Award in 2004.
She was honoured as one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 2001 by the Star Group in America.
She was a finalist for Businesswoman of the Year in 2001 in South Africa.
What Happened to Felicia Mabuza Suttle
The Felicia show stopped airing in 2004 after receiving criticism from people who believed that Felica Mabuza Suttle was trying too hard to emulate iconic talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
According to a Sowetan Live article she said this “I was naive to think that there would be excitement that I was back. I didn’t expect the backlash and the misunderstanding and misperceptions.”
“White women questioned this black woman, white men saw an arrogant black woman, black men were uncomfortable with questions around polygamy and lobola and professional black women were hard on me. As black people we need to realise that when one rises, we’re all rising.”
After her show “Felicia” was cancelled she produced and presented “Conversations With Felicia” on The Africa Channel.
She has been living the US for many years with her husband she married in 1976, but she still does come down to South Africa every now and then to attend to her business interests she still has in the country.
In the US she is co-founder and owner of Leadership Success International (LLC), which specializes in leadership and business communications consulting.
Also read: What Happened to Wright Ngubeni