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Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Get ready to be blown away by one of the world’s biggest competition series because the complete cast of 12 untrained local celebrities for the first season of M-Net’s big new reality show, Dancing With The Stars South Africa, has been revealed.

M-Net confirmed today that popular actor and model Eden Classens, comedian Ebenhaezer Dibakwane and South African Netball player Vanes-Mari du Toit will be joining the nine other famous faces on the dance floor of this exciting new series!

Classens, a model and popular actor, plays the role of Justin in the hit Afrikaans soap Suidooster on kykNET. Born and bred in Johannesburg, Eden moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre and Acting at the prestigious New York Film Academy where he trained under acclaimed Broadway Casting Director VP Boyle, before returning to local shores. He has done various short films, played the lead role in the Afrikaans film Rowwe Diamante and starred in the true-life drama film Reload. This heartthrob also recently had the opportunity to work on the American film Revolt, with the likes of Lee Pace and Berenice Mahone. “I am absolutely ecstatic to be a part of this experience," Classens raves. "I’m excited by this challenge and am here to dance my heart out and have fun!”

Next to grace the gleaming dance floor is funny man Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, a South African comedian and actor who rose to fame after winning the Newcomer Award at the Savanna Comic's Choice Awards in 2016. Dibakwane is best known for lighting up the local comedy scene, with his highlights being opening for Dillan Oliphant, being part of the Stand Up 4 Comedy ensemble alongside Mo Mathebe and Virgil Prins and being billed on the line up for Blacks Only and the Comedy Central International Comedy Festival alongside Trevor Noah and other South African household names. The talented comedian can also be seen on the theatre scene, having acted in theatre productions such as Marat/Sade, A Beautiful Thing, The Crucible, Horror Story and 24 Hours in the City. In the television space, he has featured in the soapie Ashes to Ashes and was a presenter on Walala Wasala, amongst others. Most recently, he has been cast in the sitcom Thuli noThulanli. “These are exciting times for me! I can’t wait to dance, baby - into people's homes, memories and hearts,” he revealed.

The final celebrity gearing up for all the glitz is netball star Vanes-Mari Du Toit. She is a player on the South African National Netball team and has an impressive 38 caps for South Africa under her belt, playing in positions such as Goal Shooter, Goal Keeper and Goal Attack. In October 2012, she travelled with the Proteas to Australia & New Zealand to participate in the Quad Series tournament, where she became a household name with an impressive performance against the Silver Ferns. She is thrilled about her participation in the series, and can’t wait to get started: “I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to be a part of Dancing With The Stars SA! It’s going to be a tough challenge, but I’m so ready to learn how to dance.” These days, du Toit spends her time as a netball analyst, presenter and commentator on SuperSport, while also coaching around the country. Late last year she married Matthew Proudfoot, assistant coach for the Springboks.

Eden, Ebenhaezer and Vanes-Mari will be vying for South Africa’s hearts and votes alongside their fellow famous faces on the gleaming new dance floor. They are:

-Mzansi’s best TV presenter, former Our Perfect Wedding host, actress and DJ Thembisa Mdoda, who clinched the coveted title of Best TV Presenter at the 2017 DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards;

- Veteran South African actor Frank Opperman, who turned a slow-witted but witty car mechanic called Ouboet into a darling South African icon and created an array of unforgettable, colourful characters throughout his illustrious career;

- Actress and performer, Juanita du Plessis, best known for her theatre work and acting roles in movies such as Knysna, Somer Son, Die Pro, Willie Esterhuizen’s Droomdag, Die Ontwaking and kykNET’s new movie, Hartsorg;

- Former Miss SA Liesl Laurie, who is a presenter on popular radio station Jacaranda FM, and is the international brand ambassador of L’Oreal - Vichy Laboratoires in SA, USA and Brazil;

- Wayde van Niekerk’s mother, Odessa Swarts, who was lauded for lighting up the South African athletics world and broke many sporting records - having competed provincially as a track-and-field athlete in the late 1980s and early 1990s;

- Film and TV starlet Zola Nombona who won the 2016 Golden Horn Award for best lead actress for her work in the movie Ingoma. Nombona is also well known for her roles in several TV series such as Intersexions Lockdown, iNumber iNumber, and Love Lives Here;

-  Singer-songwriter Connell Cruise, who signed the biggest recording deal in South African music history after being spotted by music legend L.A Reid;

- Former Bafana Bafana soccer star Delron Buckley who played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and represented SA in the 2000 Sydney Olympic games;

 - Former Springbok Thando Manana, best known for being the third black South African player to don a Springbok jersey. He now spends his time as a rugby commentator, pundit and member of the infamous Room Dividers team on Metro FM.

Dancing With The Stars SA, in which 12 untrained local celebrities will put their best foot forward with the help of highly skilled professional Latin and Ballroom dancers, will commence on M-Net channel 101 on February 4, 2018.

The series is produced for M-Net by Rapid Blue and is sponsored by Lottostar.