Reality TV

Tumi Mhlongo Fires Back At Below Deck Med Fan Claiming She’s A “Diversity Hire”


  • Tumi Mhlongo, from Below Deck Mediterranean, is speaking out against a viewer who made racist comments about her, highlighting the ongoing issue of racism in the yachting industry.
  • Tumi, the first Black chief stew in the Below Deck franchise, believes that the lack of diversity is not addressed and defended by the industry, leading to limited opportunities for people of color.
  • Despite the pressure she faces in a predominantly white industry, Tumi is determined to succeed and prove herself in her role, with the support of her fans who watch her grow and excel.



Tumi Mhlongo from Below Deck Mediterranean is lashing out at a viewer for making racist comments about her. Tumi was one of the stews that had to face the yacht drama on Below Deck Down Under in 2022. South African native Tumi was working in hospitality before she joined the yachting industry. Skilled at tablescape, which is the practice of making tables look attractive and decorative, Tumi is also interested in making it big in a real estate career. Tumi grew up in Johannesburg and strives for the eradication of racism all over the world. But Tumi has herself been facing disrespect from the show’s fans on Instagram.

Tumi was cast as the chief stew on Below Deck Mediterranean season 8. It was her positive outlook and work ethic that got hardworking Tumi the esteemed position. But as per Tumi’s Instagram, not every fan of the Bravo reality TV show thinks that way. Tumi posted a screenshot of a message she received in her DMs.

Tumi from Below Deck Med exposes racist fans on Instagram

The person wrote, “You were CLEARLY a diversity hire, not a merit based hire.” The person told Tumi that she should be “shamed” by those in the position before her because they had “earned it” unlike her. The critic asked Tumi to be “ashamed” of herself. “I have been silent but I am tired of your racist comments,” Tumi replied.

Tumi Calls Out “Lack Of Diversity” In Yachting Industry

Tumi and Kyle from Below Deck Mediterranean montage in work uniforms

Tumi slammed the person by telling them that all they are doing is proving everything “we have been saying for years!!!!!” Tumi continued, “Enough is enough” as a reply to the show’s viewer. Tumi’s next Instagram story was a “final warning” to such people. She warned them that she would one by one put all of them on a blast. “Enough now!!!!” Tumi continued. She told them that they don’t have to get themselves to like her, “but bringing my race is a step way too far!!!” Tumi proceeded to add a photo of South African anti-apartheid activist and politician Nelson Mandela in her stories.

Tumi is the first Black chief stew in the history of the Below Deck franchise. She is working aboard M/Y Mustique as a chief stew for the first time. Tumi has openly spoken about the lack of diversity in the yachting industry. In Below Deck Mediterranean season 8 episode 3, Tumi discussed her management style which is “relatively relaxed.”. She believes the lack of diversity is not discussed because the industry keeps defending it. “And it’s like, ‘Yeah, I worked with a Black deckhand.’ OK, but have you worked with a Black first officer? OK, have you worked with a Black captain?” Tumi said.

Tumi has seen people of color in the industry but has noticed how they are put in positions where they are not even seen. Tumi is aware of people who don’t give the industry a try because they are aware they won’t be given any opportunities. Tumi does feel a lot of pressure in the predominantly white industry. But Tumi is not one to fail. Below Deck Mediterranean gave her a chance to prove to viewers that she has evolved. Tumi always wanted to work in the Med and her supporters love to watch her grow and flourish in her role.

Source: Tumi Mhlongo/Instagram


Back to top button