In a rare interview about her private life, local Afrikaans singer Amor Vittone spoke to The Juice about being a mother, the rumours surrounding her relationship with Joost and her new, deeply personal album.
On TV and on stage we see an energetic and radiant entertainer, but it’s actually the moments behind the camera that bring the 46-year-old mother of two the most happiness.
Amor on her children’s dreams: ‘I’ve never pushed them, and I never will.’
From dropping her two children, Jordan (14) and Kylie (12) off at school in her pajamas, to cheering them on alongside the field and cooking family dinners, Amor is a mother first, just like any other mom.
“When I drop the kids off at school I’m usually wearing a pajama pants or a pajama top. Jordan will ask me what would happen if I get pulled over, and I’ll say that it would be fine. I’m just a mom,” she laughs.
She admits that her children tend to avoid the spotlight: “They don’t like it when people ask them for their autographs. They don’t like taking photographs with people and it’s entirely their choice. They’re young, and they are going through puberty. They’ve never thought of themselves as anything more than just Jordan and Kylie.”
Amor has raised her family to be humble, generous and grateful, she says: “I’ve never told them that they are better than anyone, because they are not.”
She has instilled a great work-ethic in her children explaining to them that if they want to make it to the top, they will have to work hard, she has told them: “Don’t expect anything on a silver platter, because that’s not going to happen.”
Talking about her children’s dreams for the future, she says that Jordan wants to play soccer for Liverpool and Kylie wants to take part in the Olympics for show-jumping.
“I’ve never pushed them, and I never will. They both have dream books in which they write their short and long-term goals, and how they will achieve it,” she says.
Amor on her career: ‘Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, only for a little bit.’
Talking about her career highlights, Amor says: “When I look back at pictures, especially the Lotto, I sometimes just want to cry because that was probably the highlight of my life.”
She adds: “Nimrod and I had the best fun ever. I was single, and I could work every night. I would be in people’s home and they would be glued to the TV to see what I was wearing. I was only 27, and it was my favourite year, career wise. I had a show on-air almost every night, and sometimes I had three shows a day. I was running like a maniac and I was as fit as a fiddle.
“Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, only for a little bit.”
Thinking about that time in her life, she says: “I didn’t have a boyfriend, I was just seriously in love with my work. I thought that maybe I wasn’t cut out to get married and have kids.”
Amor admits that sometimes she does long back to those days and remembers being flown in a jet for a commercial, and travelling first class, she also mentions the day she married former Springbok rugby player, Joost van der Westhuizen, among those happy moments saying: “The day I got married was magical. It was a beautiful day.”
Amor on Joost: ‘I loved him. At the end he was still Joost. The husband I married and the father to my children’
When asked about her relationship with Joost, Amor says: “I loved him. At the end he was still Joost. The husband I married and the father to my children. I will always remember that. And I will never stop loving him as the father of my kids.”
Amor then addresses the “controversial leaked recordings,” saying: “People think that I spoke to him [Joost] like a dumb person. I never did. I never ridiculed him in front people, or in front of kids. I would always try and get them to Joost when he wanted to see them. And there were times when they couldn’t…when it is was too late.”
She adds: “They didn’t want to see him like that. But it was always my fault. I would always be the one in tears at home. And it was wrong.”
About the ugly battle over Joost’s last will and testament, she says: “The confusion came in when people were saying that I was fighting for the J9 Foundation’s money. The J9 Trust is the kids’, not the foundation. The trust is money for the kids to bring them up before they turn 21. So that they are okay.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is coming closer, and we are waiting for the verdict.”
When asked if she would ever date again she says: “Yes, I would. But all in God’s time and I don’t think that the time is right now.”
She adds: “All I want is love in my life. My kids would ask: ‘Why do you need love, you get love from us?’ And I’ll have to explain to them that it’s different.”
Amor says that her children feel very differently about her being in a relationship: “My daughter doesn’t want me to date anyone. She is worried she is going to lose her mother. My son, yes. Because he wants someone to play soccer with.”
She admits that a lot of people thought she would get married soon after Joost died, but says: “I like doing things my way. I know what I want in a guy, and I won’t settle for second best.”
Despite her hesitation about entering a new relationship Amor says that she doesn’t want to grow old alone.
Amor on difficult times: ‘I shut the door for an hour. Mommy needs her time. You have to make time for yourself.’
Even though Amor has a lot to be grateful for, she admits that some days are harder than others: “Some days I wake up and there is another negative magazine article being written, those days I just start crying and lean on my mom or my best friend for advice.”
And it’s her music and spirituality that will get her through those dark times: “Everyone has a Godly purpose and we have to find what that Godly purpose is for us.
“Luister na die fluisteringe. En luister na dit wat vir jou gegee is. Luister daarna want jy gaan weet wat om te doen,” she recites her song lyrics.
“We often think that we want to do our thing, but we never really listen. We just talk a lot. I’m a big talker, but I’ve started to listen. I go to bed, and I listen to what God is telling me. I am a spiritual person, and I listen to my spiritual calling.”
But the single mom is also just human. “There are times that I do want to give up. I am not a robot,” she says. And admits that she gets “burnt out at times.”
She then tells her children: “Guys I’m going to shut the door for an hour. Mommy needs her time. You have to make time for yourself.”
Amor on her music: ‘Every single song has a message, my music reflects my life’
Amor’s latest album, Ek bly net ‘n ma is the first album to be released independently under Amor Vittone Productions and holds deep personal meaning to her.
Her music has been a source of strength and inspiration for not just her fans, but for herself as well: “My music reflects my life.”
“When you walk through the storm, you hold your head up high and don’t be afraid,” she sings, saying that after she listens to the songs she usually “bursts out crying” because the music truly reflects her life.
Even though sometimes she feels like breaking down her music reminds her to “pick up the pieces.” Especially when she is going through difficult times and she has to perform on stage: “You wipe your eyes, and you put on your outfit. If I crash after that’s okay. But I will never miss a show because I’m professional.”
Amor describes the album as “not your typical Afrikaans album,” and says that it’s a mixture of JLo, Kylie Minogue and Amor.
The album is currently available on iTunes or can be ordered online, here.
Amor on her fans: ‘You long for likes, but you long for love’
Throughout the years Amor has consistently had a dedicated fan base, and she thanks each and every one of her supporters: “Their support means the world to me. When I go to bed, I can say thank you to God and ask Him to keep them safe.”
Amor tells herself: “You long for likes, but you long for love. It doesn’t matter if you have 200 or 200 000 followers. It’s about being you, being authentic and funny.”
The singer who is always kind and interactive with her fans says: “Generosity always comes back you.”
But at the end of the day it’s her kids that keep her going: “I would never change a thing about my life, because then I wouldn’t have had my two beautiful children.”