‘I’m going to build my own empire’ – This Body Works for Me’s Bubbly on reaching for her dreams

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Former This Body Works for Me star Bubbly Sodela.
Former This Body Works for Me star Bubbly Sodela.
Photo: Showmax

“I might not have carried the show but I am the show.”

Noluvuyo Sodela, who is more famously known as and prefers to go by Bubbly, has been stopped in the streets of Gqeberha for photo ops, selfies and light conversation by fans who recognise her from the popular Showmax series This Body Works for Me.

The 29-year-old businesswoman and reality TV star is no stranger to the entertainment scene. Bubbly has had experience onscreen – most notably her appearance on Generations: The Legacy. She has also previously modelled but what got her into This Body Works for Me was her experience as an exotic dancer.

READ MORE | This Body Works For Me's Wandi on life in the sex industry – ‘I won’t stop until I’m a millionaire’

As a retired exotic dancer, Bubbly tells TRUELOVE all about the skills and lessons she’s learnt from dancing and being cast on the show, and how she has been able to apply them to her life.

“I was lucky to be in an environment that will also personally groom me, and business-wise they will groom me. So, that’s how I took [dancing] as a business. And when you’re in that industry, it’s so easy to make it in life after being an exotic dancer. With most people it’s either you get a rich guy, he marries you and opens a boutique [for you]. Or you rescue yourself, you help yourself out. I think I was a strong one who’s like ‘Okay, I’m going to build my own empire’,” she says.

Bubbly understands how each person will have their own reason to get into sex work, but she also explains the struggles she had to deal with that make her hesitant to return to the industry.

“Besides maybe racism, rude clients, or fines [and] levies being taken from us, I didn’t have a very bad experience where I was like ‘no, I will never go back’. The only thing that will make me never go back is because it consumes your time. The next minute you are 45… some [girls] don’t do aftercare to maintain their look; you need to sleep and take care of your body,” Bubbly says.

Bubbly Sodela smiling, sitting on couch
Noluvuyo 'Bubbly' Sodela tells us about her journey as a former exotic dancer.

Of course, people won't have the same experiences, but Bubbly took all the ups and downs that come with climbing the ladder in such a controversial industry and chooses to look at the positives that came with her journey.

“I’m so grateful that I didn’t lose myself chasing money, because you get exposed to everything, sometimes they can sell you dreams, you know. It’s just overwhelming and exciting when you have the access to financial freedom or with some clients, they will promise you this and that and promise to take you out of dancing and then waste your time,” Bubbly explains.

READ MORE | 'The money we make walking around naked isn't enough' - Stripper Gina on her future dreams

But Bubbly says she sees so much more for herself on the horizon than dancing. Currently, she’s an esthetician who specialises in what she calls “coochie care” – exfoliating and cleansing treatments for the pubic area, ingrown hair removal for both women and men, and online sessions for beauty tips below the belt.

She tells us how she managed to make her entrepreneurship dreams a reality from saving the money she earned working as an exotic dancer.

“I’m one of those people who started my business from doing private lap dances [and] with the money I made on OnlyFans. During Covid-19, I felt like it was the perfect timing because I was about to go back to the strip club. But at that time, I had to do introspection and focus on myself,” she says.

Bubbly goes on to explain that “I struggled emotionally because I was like ‘oh my gosh what am I going to do now’, but I did find ways to survive”.

Although she feels like she hasn’t done enough in terms of accomplishing her goals, Bubbly is certainly on the right path to discovering her full potential.

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