Botle Kayamba is changing lives with her fun fitness philosophy, charity work and inspiring life story.
Personal trainer, model, cancer survivor, group fitness instructor … these are just some of the labels we can attach to 36-year-old Botle Kayamba. But there is one moniker that trumps them all: ‘transformative motivator’. Now in the fitness industry for more than 10 years, Botle’s earlier years were spent fighting – and beating – a rare form of cancer that took the left side of her jaw and scarred her face, ending her modelling career.
But when one door closed, another opened. Inspired by her love for physical activity and her father George Tladi, a former SAFA referee, Botle studied Sports Management at Vaal University of Technology, taking further courses in group training at Virgin Active and becoming a certified personal trainer through the Trifocus Fitness Academy.
Today, Botle is changing lives with her inspiring story of faith, fitness and good health. ‘I never allowed my scars to define my beauty or who I am. I never gave up on my dreams because of my circumstances. And I believe anyone can do the same.’
Group fun and games
High-energy Botle is known for her group classes. Her love for this training format was sparked at school when she was introduced to netball and aerobics. ‘I used to love PT on Wednesdays,’ she reminisces. These days, Botle focuses on POUND, Pilates, aqua aerobics and dance fitness. ‘I really enjoy the energy that groups produce,’ Botle says. ‘Many different personalities bring their own vibe and this is what creates the class.’
Botle’s music-driven and dynamic workout sessions are therapeutic for gym members, who are quick to thank her for turning around their stressful, difficult days. But Botle points out that what moves her most is the confidence that women gain by attending her classes. ‘When some women start, they stand at the back of the class because they’re shy,’ says Botle. To help them break out of their shell, she gets them to high-five their neighbour or walk around saying hi to everyone before the class starts.
‘With group training, it’s easy to get into the vibe and you forget about other people watching you because everyone is there for the same reason and is in it with you,’ explains Botle. ‘As the classes progress, those who hid in the back start moving to the front because they gain confidence. It really motivates me.’
Read more on Botle’s journey and see her favourite hybrid exercises in your July issue of Fit Life.