Katleho Magwaza has been a fitness inspiration for us for a long time. Her journey is motivation for those days we struggle to lace up our Nikes and keep going. We caught up with Katleho to ask what her rules are for success in 2018, to find out the challenges she faces in her industry, and to see what career advice she has for women out there wanting to get into the fitness game.

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey up until this point.

I was born in Botswana, Gaborone. I lived there until I was 10 years old, then I moved to South Africa and I’ve been here ever since. I love this country! I wasn’t always into fitness, however the interest began at a point when I realised just how much my weight caused a lack of confidence in my life. I realised that I needed to live a healthier lifestyle.

What would you say have been your keys to success so far?

1. Having a relationship with God.

2. Keeping a small circle of people who truly encourage me and bring out the best in me.

3. Being focused, goal-oriented and having a vision for my life that aligns with my long-term goals.

4. Speaking less and applying more action to ensure progress.

5. Constantly reminding myself why I started and what I want to achieve.

6. Staying committed and consistent no matter the challenge.

7. Allowing myself to be a lifelong learner.


What do you think are some of the biggest challenges that women face in your field? And, in your opinion, how can they overcome those challenges?

Gender bias [is a big challenge]. Males are often favoured over females as training coaches, or for sponsorship and endorsement deals. Females in our field aren’t backed up enough by popular brands, which affects their exposure. There’s also a skepticism about training with female trainers, due to the perception that male trainers are more knowledgeable and more capable of giving clients the desired results.

I believe these challenges can be overcome through public education and awareness. Addressing some of the stereotypes that come with being a female in the fitness industry is a good start, along with making people understand why it is important to invest in your health and well-being, and ensuring that it is a lifestyle.

You have an incredible online following… But with a lot of love, you must get a lot of haters too? How do you deal with negativity?

I’ve learnt to grow a thick skin over the years. I’ve acknowledged that there will always be those who will not like me due to their own personal reasons – it has nothing to do with me. I choose to rather focus on the positive energy I receive, which motivates me to do better and go further than I have.

What’s the best advice you can give women who want to follow in your footsteps?

Be yourself and stay true to your beliefs.

Work hard but do not compare yourself to others – your only competition is who you were before. Better that!

Stay motivated, feed your mind and keep a small circle of genuine people who feed your soul.

We featured Katleho in the May issue of Marie Claire. Flip to our @Work section, where she and other powerful, inspirational women weigh in on making the most of your career this year.

Follow Katleho on Instagram and check out her website for more fitness inspiration.