Claire Mawisa

Based: Johannesburg

Claire Mawisa is a South African television presenter, model and radio personality best known for being an SABC1 continuity presenter (1999-2001), as well as for co-hosting the SABC1 music variety show One, from 2002-2003.

Born in Cape Town, Mawisa spent her early years living in Gugulethu. Living with her mother and older brother, her family settled in Kenilworth, Cape Town, when she was five, that’s where they lived until she eventually left Cape Town for Johannesburg many years later.

At 14 years old, Claire was approached, by a model boss and was asked whether she would be interested in modeling.

After signing with Topco Models, they decided to enter Claire into the prestigious model competition, Cosmopolitan Model of the Year 1994, to get some idea of what the industry was like.

The novice model achieved the unthinkable and went on to win the competition at the age of just 15 years old, beating professional and established models.

She became the youngest and the second black South African beauty to be featured on the cover of the local Cosmopolitan magazine.

Claire was suddenly in the limelight and she took it all in her stride. Juggling modeling and her schoolwork, Claire traveled to many exotic destinations for her assignments; places including the length and breadth of South Africa, Maui, Hawaii and the Seychelles; all the while doing her homework on location.

She has also graced many magazine covers including, True Love, Pace, Drum, Real and Bona.

Claire continued to model to pay her way through university, and one day on campus, she got the call of a lifetime. It was her agent asking her whether she was interested in continuity presenting because SABC1 was looking for a presenter.

Claire sent in her audition tape and clinched the job only two days later. Diving in head first, Claire left Cape Town and moved to Johannesburg to start her new job as a continuity presenter. This opened the door to many other presenting opportunities that would come her way.

She co-hosted ‘Live and Dangerous’ with Phat Joe, Yfm’s breakfast show; co-hosted Miss SA Teen 2000 and 2001 with Michael Mol; won a Duku Duku award, became the Team Leader for SABC1 presenters, and became a preferred choice for a female MC during her 2 year stint as a Simunye presenter.

After leaving SABC1 in 2001, she moved to England for a year, where she worked at mega retail entertainment leader HMV.

Returning to South Africa in 2002, she became the anchor presenter, with Bianca Le Grange and Masello Motana, for SABC1’s flagship music show One, and became more involved with radio.

She joined Metro Fm, South Africa’s largest English urban radio station as a DJ for the ‘Smirnoff Experience Dance Mix Show’ and as a Lifestyle Team member.

After interning at True Love magazine as a fashion assistant in 2002, Claire was recommended by the editor, Khanyi Dhlomo, to Seventeen Magazine’s editor, Justine Daly, to become their new beauty editor. Claire worked passionately at Seventeen Magazine for over a year before deciding to get back into TV.

In 2003 she co-hosted SABC2’s ‘Face 2 Face’ with Mark Pilgrim, a reality make over show that targeted unsuspecting shoppers in malls all over the country.

In 2006 she hosted the reality fashion show The Cut: South Africa, based on the Tommy Hilfiger-created American reality show of the same name.

She also co-hosted the second season of the reality show You’re Hired, with Pepsi Pokane.

In 2006 she co-hosted the lifestyle magazine television show Africa Within, with Chilu Lemba.

TV, radio and magazines are her passion and these are the fields that she has excelled in as well. She is currently at Metro fm as a lifestyle reporter and has worked at SABC2 as a promo producer.

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