‘Being Mandela’ gets reality check

Andile Ndlovu

THE best-kept secret in reality TV is the name of the South African broadcaster that will flight Being Mandela – or whether it will even reach our screens.

The TV series follows the lives of Nelson Mandela’s two granddaughters, sisters Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini. A month after the show premiered on Cozi TV, a US network owned by NBC Universal, there is still uncertainty whether it will eventually be flighted on South African television. Production company New Vision Pictures chief executive Damien Brown suggested, however, that he and his team had achieved a breakthrough.

He said yesterday: “I can’t tell you [who the broadcaster will be], but it will be on- air in April. I think it will be announced sometime this week.” The SABC seems to be out of the picture at the moment. The public broadcaster’s spokesman, Kaizer Kganyago, said yesterday producers of the 30-minute weekly show had pitched it to them but nothing was agreed upon.

Kganyago said: “[We] held talks with the producers of the show last year. However, [we] could not commit to the series at that stage because it had not been recorded. The channel communicated that it is willing to view the series once it has been recorded and completed.”

Commissioning editor Solly Moeng of Vuzu on the DStv network, which has popularised both local and international reality TV shows (including Dineo’s Diary, Nonhle Goes To Hollywood, Real Housewives of Hollywoodand MoLove) denied the channel was flighting the programme.

“There are a lot of rumours flying around, but we’re not doing it. I just know the guys doing the show – they have worked on some of our shows,” he said.

What about e.tv, which has also run series featuring celebrities including Hlelo and Ntando Masina, Bonginkosi “Zola 7” Dlamini and Kelly Khumalo?

The channel’s spokesman, Matlapulana Ragoasha, said: “The deal could not be concluded because we had already finalised our programming strategy for the year. The channel is always open to reviewing new, fresh content ideas.”

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