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- South African professional Latin American and ballroom dancer
Oti Mabuse has shared the emotional reunion she had with her family in South Africa after she flew home to surprise them.
The Strictly Come Dancing star hasn’t been able to visit her home country for a number of years due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions.
However, South Africa being taken off of the UK’s travel red list earlier in December meant she was finally able to make the journey after years away.
In a post to Instagram on Monday, Mabuse detailed how “really special” the reunion was while also sharing a video of her journey home to her loved ones.
“FINALLY AFTER YEARS I WAS ABLE TO GO HOME TO SOUTH AFRICA.
“Decided to surprise my family and not tell them I’m coming home just to see their expressions, mom was speechless (touched me all to see if I was real, dad couldn’t stop smiling and my god mother cried her eyes off).
“To say I was emotional is an absolute understatement I have been waiting 3-4 years to hold my moms, dad, sister, nieces and nephews in my arms and just spend time with them NOT through a screen,” she wrote.
“I rarely share family events but this felt really special to me and I know so many others are in my position and were buzzing when RSA was taken off of the red list,” Mabuse, 31, went on.
Watch: Oti Mabuse reveals the next series of Strictly will be her last
The dancer added that the pandemic has taught her “how much family is above all” and “should never be taken for granted”.
In an accompanying video, Mabuse explained while sat in Heathrow Airport how she hadn’t been home for four years, hadn’t seen her father for four years or her mother for three.
A montage showed her journey through the airport onto the plane and its landing in South Africa.
The final few clips saw Mabuse emotionally embrace several loved ones as she surprised them, while text appeared across the video reading: “Family is everything.”
Mabuse hadn’t been separated from her entire family, as both she and her sister Motsi, 40, have appeared on the last three series of Strictly with the latter sitting on the judging panel.
Recently it was announced that the two-time Strictly champ would be making the transition to judging on ITV’s Dancing on Ice.
Mabuse replaces John Barrowman on the panel after it was announced he would not be returning to the programme.
Watch: John Barrowman dropped from Dancing on Ice following flashing claims