While Mdoda remains mum, the official word is that she wants to pursue other career ambitions and keep growing, but some viewers aren’t entirely convinced.
“Real Talk with Anele has, since the beginning of season one, been exceptionally close to my heart and I have been enormously proud to work with SABC3. I feel, for my own growth, it is time to leave the show and to focus on my career ambitions and prospects,” she said in a statement.
“I would like to thank SABC3, the viewers and everyone behind the show for the opportunity they afforded me. Hopefully, this is not the end, but a case of ‘see you later’.”
After nearly two years, Mdoda will host her last show next week Friday, 8 June.
The show was the subject of many news headlines late last year when it emerged that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had paid the public broadcaster R500 000 to have Mdoda conduct a wide-ranging, character-building interview.
At the time, producers said it was common practice for brands or personalities to pay for exposure.
Adding fuel to speculation around the real reason Mdoda is leaving is the fact that the current season of the show, produced by Cheeky Media, is scheduled to run until the end of October.
“Anele has been an integral part of the show and an ideal personality for brand SABC3. The channel would like to thank her for the tremendous contribution, talent and flair that she brought to the show. We wish her well in all her future prospects.” said Aisha Mohamed, SABC3 Head of Bouquet.
Speculation has also turned to who might replace Mdoda, with Twitter users running polls suggesting her elder sister Thembisa, Pearl Modiadie, Bonang Matheba or Legato Kganyago as suitable replacements.
Janez Vermeiren and Yusuf Stevens, Executive Producers of Real Talk with Anele and Cheeky Media Directors, said a search was currently underway and that further details would be announced soon.