Oti Mabuse: Strictly winner admits ‘I haven’t seen my family in two years’ – ‘Not great’

Strictly: Oti Mabuse discusses not seeing family on Lorraine

Oti Mabuse, 30, is best known for her role in Strictly Come Dancing as one of the shows many pro dancers, having been a part of the series since 2015. Last month she made history as she became the first dancer to win the show back to back. But amid her Strictly glory, the South African has spoken candidly of how she has not seen her family for more than two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While appearing on Lorraine this week, Oti spoke of how during the 2020 series of Strictly she was able to see her sister Motsi Mabuse, 39, who was apart of the judging panel alongside Craig Revel Horwood, 56, and Shirley Ballas, 60.

She explained: “Actually the last time I had seen my sister was the Strictly final in 2019 and because of the travel bans I couldn’t go over to see her on her birthday.

“We usually celebrate together so because of Strictly that was the only family member that I could actually see.”

The Glitterball champion went on to talk of her family back home, saying: “I haven’t seen my family in about two years because they’re from South Africa and it’s currently not great in South Africa as well.

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“So to have Strictly is another thing that I’m grateful for, even though we were in separate bubbles it was nice that I could actually see her and she was there.”

But Oti has not let the restrictions stop her from virtually connecting with her family via zoom.

She added: “There’s opportunity to make new connections, to bond. I know during the first lockdown we started Zooming weekly with the extended family, so first second and third cousins.

“Everyone got to know each other, all the children. Christmas was also spent on Zoom, it was the entire family so it gave us the opportunity to make more connections and deeper ones.”

Oti made history in December when she won the Glitterball trophy once again with comedian Bill Bailey, 56, after triumphing the previous year alongside former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37.

Amid Oti’s win, Motsi shared on Instagram of how proud she was of her younger sister.

In a lengthy post to her 460,000 followers on Instagram, she said: “Congratulations @otimabuse As a child you walk into the world and you just want to make your parents proud & yourself.

“I think you did that and beyond!! There is a reason they Named you OTLILE.”

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Talking of her lockdown experience back in July, Oti opened up on how she was able to spend more time with her husband Marius Iepure.

She explained to the Glasgow Times: “It has been terrible for so many. But for us…we are very fortunate.

“It has actually been great to have some time with my husband. We just stayed home, tried to stay positive, tried to help other people stay positive.”

The couple celebrated their six-year anniversary in November having tied the knot in 2014.

At the time she wrote to her 562,000 followers on Instagram: “6 years today, and I love you more and more each time the sun rises.

“Happy anniversary @mariusiepure you and you and only you make me. [sic]”  

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