Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse was left in tears as she reunited with her parents after three years.
The professional dancer, who was partnered up with Ugo Monye during the 2021 edition of the BBC One dance contest, returned to South Africa and shared the long-awaited journey with her fans.
Oti revealed that she had not told her mother she was coming home and had flown home to surprise her.
In a video posted on her Instagram, the Strictly champion documented her journey from Heathrow airport to her arrival in South Africa.
She captioned the emotional video: “FINALLY AFTER YEARS I WAS ABLE TO GO HOME TO SOUTH AFRICA.
“Decided to surprise my family and not tell them I’m coming home just to see their expressions, mom was speechless (touched me all to see if I was real, dad couldn’t stop smiling and my god mother cried her eyes off)
“To say I was emotional is an absolute understatement I have been waiting 3-4 years to hold my moms, dad, sister, nieces and nephews in my arms and just spend time with them NOT through a screen.”
Oti, whose sister Motsi Mabuse is a judge on the popular BBC dancing competition, said the coronavirus crisis had taught her that family should “never be taken for granted”.
“I rarely share family events but this felt really special to me and I know so many others are in my position and were buzzing when RSA was taken off of the red list,” the 31-year-old said.
“Covid has really taught me how much family is above all and should never be taken for granted.
“Please excuse the coming photo dumps that will be flying your way,” she added.
In the first clip, Oti was seen wearing a mask in the airport as she explained: “I’m on my way home. I haven’t been home in four years. I haven’t seen my mum in four years, haven’t seen my dad in four. She doesn’t know I’m coming home.”
Soon she was seen quietly tiptoeing into her family’s home, before being greeted with lots of hugs from mum and dad, Peter and Dudu.
At the end of the video, it read: “Family is EVERYTHING.”
Oti will, however, be back in the UK soon after it was confirmed that she is joining the Dancing On Ice judging panel.
She will replace John Barrowman on the show and join Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill, and Christopher Dean when the ice skating competition returns to ITV next month.