With a beautiful 10-year-old daughter and legions of adoring fans, it may surprise you to hear that SA media personality Pearl Thusi takes nothing for granted. The DestinyConnect team have followed this star closely over the years and we find her attitude to her celebrity status truly refreshing: she sees every aspect of her success as a golden opportunity to create a solid future for herself and her family. She regards herself more as a business person than a celebrity. In short, she’s a woman with a plan!

Perhaps it’s because she came from humble beginnings and had some hard knocks along the way so she’s so aware that her “day in the sun” may not last forever. Many celebs don’t plan ahead because they believe they’ll always be a public success. But Pearl knows there will come a time when a fresher face gets the sponsorship offers, the free stuff stops coming and the job offers slow down. When that time comes, she says she fully intends to be ready – emotionally, mentally and financially – to move on to the next, exciting chapter of her life, whatever it may hold.

Family time

Importantly, she doesn’t define herself by her public image. While she loves the spotlight, she values her home life even more – spending time with her daughter, her dogs, cooking and organising playdates. She also gets a big kick out of managing her finances tightly and making sure her money is growing so that she and her family have a bright future.

She admits that it’s lovely to get treated from time to time, like when she gets a free manicure. But she very cleverly sees these as “savings” opportunities, rather than pure freebies. Whenever she gets treated, she makes a point of putting the money she would have spent on that treat away towards her savings and investments.

Pearl’s little girl Thando is her pride and joy – and for this reason, she’s actively teaching her to be a balanced, financially savvy person. Pearl says they are always talking about money, in an educational way. Thando has a piggy bank and she gets to make her own decisions about how to spend the money. But Pearl makes every effort to guide her so that she buys things of value that’ll last. It’s a lesson the star hopes will stick with her little girl for life. Pearl says her daughter has worn her fair share of hand-me-downs, not because they can’t afford new, but rather to teach her that value doesn’t only come in items that are brand-spanking new and expensive.

Pearl acknowledges that she gets to dress up in some dream dresses and describes it as “amazing” to wear something that makes her look and feel truly special. But, what a lot of people don’t realise is that she has to give the dress back to the fashion designer after the event.

Staying grounded

She says she sometimes feels the pressure to pretend she has an extraordinary life, because people expect it of her. And yes, there are tons of perks to her professional career. But the “normal” part of her life takes up the bulk of her time and she wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what grounds the charming star, helping her stay committed to taking care of her future and reminding her of her past.

Pearl’s dream is that the youth of South Africa will work hard to stay grounded, that they’ll enjoy the luxuries in life, but not splash too much of their cash on loud displays of wealth. She hopes that’ll actively build wealth which will contribute to happy successful futures that are low on debt and high on savings. She believes everyone should capitalise fully on every opportunity that comes their way.

Pearl feels strongly that the country as a whole will benefit if everyone was more focused on building their wealth and less on showing it. And from a star with her head screwed on so sensibly, that’s advice we feel would be well worth following.