She might be the kind of friend who will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear, but that doesn’t mean that The Real Housewives of the Winelands Candice is not numb.
On the contrary, she believes honesty is what distinguishes true friendship from superficial relationships.
“I don’t know if I should say that I am lucky or unlucky to be that friend. I’ve heard that I can seem cold, but my friends always call me when they’re looking for an honest and sincere opinion, because they know it comes from the heart. It’s not always fun to be that person, it’s just how I’m wired.”
This is how viewers have also come to know her over the past three months, as the so-called “main girl” of the group, like her co-housewives baptized her.
Not that this former singer and new restaurant owner can’t kick off her shoes.
“I love entertaining and spending time with friends and family. There are people in our house every weekend, that’s why it looks like this outside at the moment,” she says teasingly as she points to the tidy veranda of her and her family’s Stellenbosch home where some signs of a cozy Sunday stroll are still visible.
“I think viewers only saw this side of me after the fourth episode, because wow… the series didn’t kick off at the easiest time of my life.”
No regrets about her Housewives-travel
Candice like most other local “real housewives” only became properly acquainted with this brand after the cameras started rolling. She teases that she almost pulled her head out when she realized what exactly it entailed.
“Then The Real Housewives of Pretoria aired, we have already started shooting our show. I was completely traumatized when I watched an episode of it,” laughs Candice.
“I didn’t quite realize what I was letting myself in for, but Pascal, our director, convinced me to stay and I don’t regret it at all.”
She is delighted with how the Cape installment played out, despite criticism about especially the last reunion episode where she and Michelle van Zyl got into a heated exchange.
Although these two housewives both extended olive branches in the end after rethinking each one’s stories and intentions, keyboard warriors did not hesitate to take Candice personally for so-called “bullying behavior”.
“It’s sad that there are people who think I’m a bully, just because I spoke the truth, but I already realized early in the series that certain comments are not worth the time or energy.”
In the run-up to the series’ recordings, she also set two boundaries for herself, namely that she would not swear (in which she admits she failed once or twice) and that she would also say everything she said about someone in her video diaries in front of them.
“I am grateful that I have never been anyone other than myself. I said 100% what I wanted and was honest about my feelings to everything and everyone.”
Her one cringemoment, as she calls it, was her outfit blunder at Michelle’s TikTok party, where her short dress let her down. “You know right away, if you do or say something silly, that they will use it 100% in the program,” she says with a laugh.
According to Candice, there was definitely no pretense in the program either, especially regarding her work.
“During the first three episodes, I was under the greatest professional pressure of my life, so I was often there in flesh, but not in spirit. I remember almost nothing about Karen’s divorce party or those first few video diary recordings. I think viewers could also see that I was more present after episode four, so everything was definitely a lot real been for me.”
Housewives brings healing, but also criticism
Moments that stood out for her throughout the series were especially the women’s visit to Hoedspruit and Mauritius. The recording of her first original song was also a highlight.
“The whole journey with Loki Rothman was the greatest privilege. I know many viewers think I want to start a singing career now, but for me it was more about realizing a dream I had to record this song.”
She shared in the first episode that she had six miscarriages before her daughter, Emma, was born and therefore wanted to write this song about her pregnancy challenges and loss.
For Candice, her performance of the song at her, Amy and Mariska’s joint pilot function was a turning point in her healing journey. “It was the first time I could talk about it without crying. I just gave my emotions to the world and there is a lot of healing in that. I got off the stage and fell into Pascal’s arms and cried, it was a wonderful and overwhelming feeling.”
In contrast, her singing abilities are one of the many things that online trolls started bashing early on – something that Candice admits later dominated her thoughts.
“I literally have to remove myself from Facebook groups, not because I care what people think, but because it almost swallowed me. I sometimes sat for three hours at a time watching comments, it’s insane and toxic.”
The former professional Barnyard artist had to face comments such as “Candice should forget about a singing career, there’s no talent there”.
“One of the worst was: ‘Her glasses are so ugly, they must be hiding her big nose.’ It amazes me that people are so cruel and bored with their own lives, that they take the time to comment on other people’s appearance.”
Candice says especially Amy Kleinhans-Curd, a former Miss. South Africa and businesswoman, reminded her to shake off negative comments. “Amy laughed at me and asked why I was reading this? She said it doesn’t have any meaning and that the rest doesn’t matter if you know who you are.”
Being recognized in public at times is also something she cannot get used to.
“Of course I feel very cool when students in the town approach me for a photo,” she jokes.
“The best was when a twelve-year-old girl stopped me in a restaurant the other day and said that she loves the program. I then laughed inwardly, because then I realized that she was actually much too young to watch it.”
Viewers don’t see all the sides of the housewives
Although they have opened up parts of their lives to kykNET cameras, Candice likes to remind viewers that they only see 48 minutes of hours of footage.
“I think the little that one sees can quickly give rise to misperceptions. Mariska, for example, is portrayed as this blonde doll, but she is a highly intelligent woman with a very strong will. I kind of look up to her.”
Anita and Karen, who were known for their strong personalities and sharp sayings, also have softer sides according to Candice.
“Anita is a real lady, she is very good mannered and believes there is a time and place for everything. Karen is also the gentlest person with a massive caring heart. I think the program just happened at a vulnerable time in her life, so her ‘angry’ moments were just to protect herself. It’s completely understandable.”
According to Candice, the group got along well for the most part.
“Of course there was an old speed bump here and there, because many of us are opinionated and strong, but we really had a good time together. There are still many stories to tell, I really hope we get a chance to do another season.”
Future looks tasty
Viewers have in Real Housewives Got a taste of Candice and her husband Werner’s new restaurant in Stellenbosch, De Vier.
“We have been looking for the right place for years. I think it’s just how the Lord works, because there was no time for something like this in my life before,” she says about this eatery, which will soon open its doors.
“It’s actually a lifelong dream of mine. My grandmother and grandfather had a restaurant, so I enjoy being in that space. I feel like it brings together all my passions, such as the hospitality industry, food and event planning.”
The name “De Vier” alludes to her and Werner’s idea of having a small, seasonal menu modeled on four main dishes, namely red meat, chicken, fish and vegan options.
“When you walk in, it will feel as if you are in a New York five-star hotel, but you can still feel comfortable and at home. It goes next level be.”
Watch Candice highlight some of her ‘Real Housewives’ highlights here: