Diagnosed with Ameloblastoma type 3, Botle Kayamba turned to fitness to help get her through the tough times. Today, she is a successful personal trainer and leader in the fitness industry, and has joined South African milk and dairy product brand First Choice as the new ambassador for its high protein recovery drink.
When she was diagnosed with Ameloblastoma type 3, Botle’s world came crushing down. “Fitness helped me through the dark times. Being active was my happy place, my driving force. Life was hard growing up. Due to my illness I had to let go of my modelling career but fitness saved me, restored my confidence, and helped me rediscover myself,” she shares. Ameloblastoma is a rare, benign tumour that develops most often in the jaw near the molars. It begins in the cells that form the protective enamel lining on your teeth.
Born and raised in Sebokeng, Vaal, Botle finished high school at Pele Ya Pele Secondary and then obtained a Diploma in Sports Management at the Vaal University of Technology. Her other qualifications include certificates as a Group Training Instructor and Life Coach as well as in Personal Training. “My passion for fitness stems from loving and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Growing up, I’ve always been an active child, trying out just about every sporting code in school,” she says.
Her career in fitness started in 2007 and has evolved over the years despite the hardships, closed doors and many disappointments she had to endure. “It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but I had to keep believing in myself and pushing forward. My faith and trust in God helped me to be patient. It’s because of God’s love for me that I am who I am today. His joy is my strength and His word has kept me rooted over the years,” Botle adds.
Botle is currently the ambassador for First Choice’s high protein recovery (HPR) drink. “I love the brand and what it stands for. I’d recommend it purely for the convenience. There’s no time wasted on blending, mixing and weighing. You just drink it as is, and it’s packed with all the right nutrients.”
She hopes to represent the brand in a very positive way. “I want to spread the word on the importance of HPR, its long term benefits and, most especially, because many people think only men drink such drinks and not women. We need to change the narrative so that everyone is aware of its benefits.”
On a personal note
Not only is Botle a fitness guru, she also loves cooking. “It is definitely a passion of mine. I love experimenting with food and creating new recipes to share with my family. I also enjoy watching television and usually binge-watch on weekends to catch up on my favourite shows as my schedule is super hectic during the week.”
She reckons she is blessed to have her husband around when things get hectic. “It’s always good to know that I can rely on him to help me stay balanced. He assists with planning and executing my ideas, as well as with the kids. I also have a team of strong women under the Botle Fitness umbrella who help me so much. And of course my twin sister Bontle, whom I love and adore. I appreciate them all.”
Botle is currently working on a very exciting project – completing and running her own home gym. “It’s all very exciting. I’m also currently completing my Diploma in Nutrition and will hopefully graduate next year. Furthermore, I host three annual Botle fitness events: one in Midrand (JHB) where I’m currently based, the second in the Vaal, and the third one to raise funds for charity so that I am able to give back to my community.”
Her motto is push past possible – and Botle clearly lives up to it.