Oti Mabuse heartbreak: Strictly Come Dancing gave winner ‘family lifeline’ during pandemic

Strictly: Oti Mabuse discusses not seeing family on Lorraine

Oti Mabuse, 30, is currently bathing in glory after she received her second consecutive win on Strictly Come Dancing with comedian Bill Bailey, 56, last month. To take part in the latest season of the BBC dance show, the professional stage performer had to live away from her husband due to social distancing measures and couldn’t fly to see her family in South Africa because of travel restrictions. However, with her sister Motsi Mabuse, 39, being a judge on the panel, this offered the dancer a connection to her loved ones.

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of Lorraine, Oti spoke of her joy of being able to be so close to her sister, despite having to adhere to Government guidelines.

The professional dancer explained: “The last time I’d seen my sister was in the Strictly final of 2019,” which she won with former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37.

“Because of the travel bans and everything, I couldn’t go over to [Germany] on her birthday to go and see her and we usually celebrate it together.

“Because of Strictly, she was the only family member that I could see,” she added before going on to speak about her heartbreak.

“I haven’t seen my family in about two years because they’re from South Africa and [coronavirus] is currently not great there.”

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“To have Strictly is another thing I am grateful for, even though [me and Motsi] were in separate bubbles,” Oti explained.

“It was nice I could actually see her and she was there,” the professional stage performer told host Lorraine Kelly, 61.

The reigning champion said seeing her family on video calls was not the same as seeing the face-to-face, “but I think there is an opportunity to make new connections,” she added.

“I know during the first lockdown, we started Zooming weekly with the extended family and everyone got to know each other.”

To have Strictly is another thing I am grateful for

Oti Mabuse

As well as Motsi being a huge source of support to her sister throughout the latest season, she was overwhelmed when Oti won for a second time.

Following the announcement Bill had won the viewers vote, the judge could be seen standing from her seat and wiping away the tears.

Fans noticed the touching moment, with one writing on Twitter: “Watching Motsi crying at her sister winning Strictly was the purest moment of 2020. I love the Mabuse sisters so hard!”

A second posted: “I was ok until I saw Motsi’s gorgeous reaction to her sister’s win. I was in pieces!!! Reminded me of #Frozen.”

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Whilst a third remarked: “Oti is an amazing dancer and teacher but what broke me was Motsi’s look of absolute pride and her tears watching her little sister win!”

Although she hasn’t been able to see her immediate family, Oti and her husband Marius lepure have been offering up dance lessons online to keep the public motivated.

Having been separated for several weeks to compete in the show, the reigning champion shared a sweet tribute to her spouse following her win.

Taking to her Instagram page, the stage performer posted a picture of herself with Marius smiling at the camera.

In view of her 562,000 followers, she wrote: “To my husband, my absolute rock! You’ve been there for me through all of it.”

“And more running the school through lockdown, being a friend, husband, and taking care of Leo [dog] has meant everything,” she continued.

“You made my world a better place on every occasion, you reminded me to keep going, of who I am and what we mean to each other.

“These cuddles or moments I’ll cherish forever. Love you to the moon and back @mariusiepure,” Oti concluded.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV. Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One.

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