The Greatest Dancer and Strictly Come Dancing star’s sister Motsi revealed their half-brother Neo “killed himself with a poison” aged just 18 when Oti was a baby. Motsi, who dances on German show Let’s Dance, added following their brother’s death, their family was seen as having “negative energy”. She added: “Because the people of Africa are very religious and superstitious, something bad arose in our neighbourhood.” Oti’s sister continued: “Because of this rumour, no one came to us any more, because it was feared that the bad energy applied to the visitor.”
Neo had a different father to Oti, real name Otlile, and her two sisters.
But Motsi said Neo saw the success of their mother and sisters’ father Peter.
Oti’s father Peter currently works as a High Court judge in Pretoria, while their mother worked as a nursery school teacher.
In Motsi’s book Chili in the Blood: My Dance Through Life, obtained by The Mirror, she said: “Neo had witnessed the rise of my parents.
“He still remembered the cramped life, which for us younger siblings was more of a narrative than a truly experienced reality.”
Discussing how they found their love for dance, Oti’s sister went on to say their mother converted an empty office into their own personal dance studio.
She added: “We were the wow girls, the showgirls – all three. And the biggest diva of all of us, that was Otlile.”
Oti previously praised her family for their support amid her dance career.
The eight-time Latin American champion told the BBC: “My family plays a big part in my role as a dancer and my sister was my first trainer.
“She’s still my role model and inspiration until this day. She was my first trainer, she taught me my first steps.
“My mum was my first coach, she coached me for my first competition.
“I’ve literally only looked up to my family, because we are so competitive as a family as well and they always aim to be the best.”
Oti currently appears as a dance captain on BBC show The Greatest Dancer alongside Cheryl and Matthew Morrison.
She was also partnered with Graeme Swann on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Discussing the difference between the shows, she added to the BBC: “Being on Strictly is really special.
“I know first-hand what it’s like to be judged and to have someone criticise your creativity, your hard work and your art.
“Being on the other side is completely different because I’m on the side where I get to appreciate and inspire and motivate and nurture acts.
“I think what’s really special about The Greatest Dancer is that the mentors actually work hand in hand with the acts and our aim and goal is to make them better.”
The Greatest Dancer continues tonight at 8pm on BBC One.
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