Strictly's Oti Mabuse sobs uncontrollably as she's reunited with her mum for the first time in three years12/28/2021
STRICTLY Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse gave her mum the best Christmas present ever as she returned to the family home after three years away.
The bubbly TV star, 31, took to her Instagram Stories to reveal she was heading back to Pretoria, South Africa, after the UK scrapped its Red List holiday destinations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Clearly excited, she gushed from behind her black face mask and matching glasses as she updated her fans on the long-awaited journey.
She said: "On my way home for the first time in four years.
"I haven't seen my mum in three years, I haven't seen my dad in four – I'm at Heathrow Airport."
Referring to her mum, Dudu, Oti added: "She doesn't know I'm coming home," before giving a thumbs up to the camera
Oti then did a photo montage of her airport checking in scenes before panning down onto the runway.
After touching down and taking a taxi to the family home, Oti enlisted the help of someone in on her secret to film her from behind as she entered the house.
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She firstly gave a hug to a young toddler before embracing her elated mum.
The pair hugged each other tight before the Greatest Dancer judge wiped tears from her eyes and planted a kiss on her cheek.
After enjoying a giggle, they hugged a little more.
In January, Oti told how she hadn't seen her Strictly judge sister Motsi for a year as, away from filming, she lives in Germany.
She said: "Because of Strictly, she was the only family member that I could actually see – I haven't seen my family in about two years because they're from South Africa and currently it's not great in South Africa as well.
"So to have Strictly, that's another thing that I'm grateful for – even though we were in separate bubbles, it was nice that I could actually see her and she was there."
Unlike many of the Strictly family, Oti did not start her path to professional dancing from a young age.
Oti studied civil engineering at university before embarking on a career in professional dancing, following in the footsteps of sister Motsi.
Oti and her family were left devastated when her older half-brother Neo took his own life while they were growing up in South Africa.
Oti's family – which includes sisters Motsi and Phemelo – lived in a township called Mabopane close to the capital, Pretoria.
Motsi previously revealed his death led the family to be shunned by their superstitious neighbours in the township.
The Mirror reveals she wrote in her book Chili in the Blood: My Dance Through Life, which has been published in Germany: "He killed himself with a poison.
"And because the people of Africa are very religious and superstitious, something bad arose in our neighbourhood.
"With the suicide of Neo, our family was seen as one where there was a negative energy."
Motsi explained how Neo was born to their mother Dudu when she was just a teenager, and a different father.
When Dudu met and married the girls' father Peter Mabuse, the family's fortunes started to turn around, but Neo struggled to adjust.
She wrote: "I think all the changes had overwhelmed [Neo] a little bit, everything had seemed difficult to him."
Neo's suicide came soon after Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, which marked the start of major changes in South Africa, and just months after Oti had been born.
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