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REVIEW: Was The ‘Madame & Mercy’ Debut Worth The Wait?

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When Madam & Mercy premiered on Mzansi Magic, we honestly didn’t know what to expect. Excited? Absolutely! After all, this is the Evodia Mogase who rose to instant fame during her appearance on the Real Housewives of Johannesburg season one.

Madam and Mercy Review

There, she proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Minutes into the first episode, she’d already delivered a minefield of iconic ‘quotables’ and meme-worthy moments.  She really said, “What Madam wants, Madam gets” in her intro, a motto she would continue materialising throughout the season.

Madam and Mercy Review

But even after a whole season of drama on the 1Magic reality show, we didn’t quite know what the storylines, arcs and dynamics would be on the spin-offs she’d impressively bagged with her daughter, former RHOJ co-star, Mercy Mogase.

Would they continue living up to their reputation as “The Versaces”, flaunting their enviable designer wardrobe and upper echelon lifestyle here?

RELATED: MADAM AND MERCY DISCUSS VAGINAL REJUVENATION! 

Would there be the same delivery of drama we were served on the RHOJ?

Now with no Brinnette and Christall to shake the table, literally, and keep their feet on her neck, sitting down to watch the new reality show felt like a start over. Here, we’d been promised, Evodia and Mercy would be lifting the veil on who they really are.

Madam and Mercy Review

Like all celebrity reality shows, the whole joint had been sold as a document of their fascinating lives.

Beyond the lavish and sparkly things we’ve hitherto seen, now we got the opportunity to know them beyond the funny and shady moments that propelled them to wild popularity.

Well, the beautiful gowns are certainly still in the frame.

It’s who they are. They love, and live, the finest Mzansi has to offer. The private jets, the beautiful home, the life. But, unlike RHOJ, we get so much context into how all of that was built. We also go beyond the sparkling pink and arrive at the messier, more human parts of who the Mogase women are.

RELATED: EVODIA AND BRINNETTE’S TEA PARTY DRAMA 

In this sense, it’s satisfying to get to the real texture of their experience, a step away from the fluff we’d seen on their previous reality television stint.

The despair around Evodia Mogase’s departure from the Real Housewives of Johannesburg was quickly replace by glee when the reality show stars announced their own spin off in 2019.

While her absence from the Housewives franchise just after one season is quite unfortunate, fans were elated to find out they would continue enjoying the diva’s larger than life personality once more.

Madam and Mercy Review

It’s also quite impressive that Evodia scored her own spin-off with the quickness.

Reality show spin-off’s don’t come around often in South Africa. Dineo Ranaka was able to do it, but she’s also tauted as the godmother of celebrity shows in South Africa. She did it when it wasn’t popular, and got it right when the format was flopping everywhere. Dineo continued to become one of the first to pivot and stranslate the success of her 5 season run into a spin-off that covers her entire family.

We mention The Ranakas and their continued success because of how they were able to capitalise from the strengths of Dineo’s show into expanding their turf.

On Madam and Mercy, the Mogases attempt the very same.

The differences in these cases, however, is that Dineo had already built a name for herself before launching her own reality show. And not only that, it aired a widely successful five seasons before transitioning into the unscripted family portrait on Mzansi Magic.

By contrast, both Evodia and her daughter, Mercy Mogase, haven’t been known for that long.

Granted, they were the breakout stars on the premiere season of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg. They gave us the iconic moments, the memes, the quotables, the sometimes hideous and sometimes wow fashion, and plenty of moments to laugh about it.

Known to multitudes of adoring fans as ‘Madam’, Evodia stepped into the South African television business and brought a refreshing spark. She’s the lady who gave ‘what a joke my darling’, and social media will forever stan her ways.

Madam & Mercy Review

 

From the onset, the mother and daughter’s unique relationship translated quite beautifully onscreen. They gossiped freely about the other girls, and often took it ‘there’. They could buy each other sex toys, and argue of messing up each other vegan meals, and convince each other that it’s okay to show up late in other people’s events because everyone there doesn’t know to dress up anyways.

Despite all of this, we wondered if it was too soon for Madam to be launching her own spin-off.

Following in the blueprint of similar franchises internationally, one would have thought a good four to five season of constant delivery, growing with her followers and cementing her base in showbiz would have been a more strategic approach to doing spin-offs.

And then beauty lines, bag lines and boutiques, because that’s what Nene Leakes and them have done.

PREMIERE EPISODE OF MADAM & MERCY 

The show debuted with a crisp and colourful picture of the family’s life. We are introduced to Evodia’s fiancé, whom everyone calls ‘baby’ in the most adorable and weird way ever. We are also acquainted with her adorable toddler. We hadn’t seen her on the RHOJ so this is a heart warming welcome.

The first episode was a set up to what will unravel during. With the dynamics now set, things we pretty much move forward within the frame and narrative.

Madam has a beautiful relationship with her fiancé. We get shots of him with their daughter, as she takes us through how much he means to her. The two are also in the middle of finalising their lobolo negotiations, but the Mogase family is still debating on how much they should settle for.

They want ‘Baby’ to up his game and pay up. Because’s that’s Madam, sir.

We also enjoyed seeing her work and distill the history of her construction company. There’s so much this, and she really delved into some of her experiences as a black woman trying to secure business in a male dominated world.

Madam and Mercy Review

Meanwhile, Mercy laments her failed beauty spa business. We get to see the abandon studio, which is now falling apart due to the lack of maintenance and break ins. It’s a relatable human moment – we all try, and sometimes don’t succeed. The venture, will learn, had cost her a fortune to establish with her friend and business partner.

Next scenes involve Mercy visiting her father’s grave with her boyfriend. She reflects with sadness on their imperfect relationship, wishing things would be different.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The show has started off on a decent note. In the previews to the looming episodes, we didn’t see much that would be particularly worth a scream. The same can be said for the first episode. It was okay.

The transition from the Real Housewives of Johannesburg has certainly more more conservative than we thought. The show feels a lot calmer, warmer, realer.

Madame & Mercy airs on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161, Tuesdays at 20:00.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to land on Disney+ in February

Welcome to Wakanda!

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Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in for a treat. Disney+ has announced that 1 February marks the arrival of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The blockbuster will be joining 16 other on the streaming platform.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.

As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, is now playing in theaters. 

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Music

The Shocking Fallout of Black Motion

Tensions have reportedly escalated.

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They are one of South Africa’s most revered music duos.

Their discography packs both blockbuster club bangers and lush delights for lovers of House with a transcendental African sonic flair. And the explosive fallout of Black Motion, which has been splashed across the internet long before reaching the courts, has shocked many.

Loved for their electrifying live performances and awe-inspiring chemistry, Mörda and Smol have always seemed like musical soulmates. But that relationship seems to have reached a bitter end.

In 2022, rumours of their reported split triggered a frenzy on the internet. Following the uproar, the group’s members Bongani Mohosana, who now goes as Mörda, and Smol (real name Roy Thabo Mabogwane), jointly calmed fears that they had fallen out.

It had been said the break would be temporary, as Mörda moved to focus on the release of his solo studio album.

Far from it, it now seems. The parties have escalated things to court.

According to reports, Black Motions have confirmed that they had pressed charges against Mörda for alleged housebreaking and theft.

A court order by the High Court in Gauteng posted on social media has ordered Morda to “restore possession of a recording studio apparatus” to the group by 13 January, at 5pm. 

Black Motion shared snaps of the alleged damage caused by Morda – a broken door and stolen equipment.

 

It looks like we won’t be getting a new Black Motion album with Mörda anytime soon.

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Reality Shows

Inside the Big Brother Titans Premiere!

South Africa and Nigeria unite under Biggie’s roof.

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Sunday, 15 February 2023, marks the roaring arrival of BBTitans.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

The highly anticipated social experiment brings under Biggie’s roof housemates from both South Africa and Nigeria. And for 72 days, we will be splashed with the finest in South African and Nigerian swag, banter, romance and all the trappings of a fun-filled, dramatic and – we’d hope – an entertaining show.

A first of its kind, the social experiment assembles the most colourful personalities from the two nations to outwit, outplay and outsmart each other in a bid to get their hands on a massive bag, life-changing bag!

In addition to a number of lofty prizes that will likely be on the line throughout the season, the winner of the show will also be walking away, a whopping grand prize of US $100 000 (over R1,7 million) is up for grabs for the one who trounces his Housemates to charm audiences across the continent.

That’s not all; the amount of social capital, celebrity and opportunities for lucrative brand deals after the show, all form part of the career-launching lift-off that comes with being on the popular franchise.

Both Big Brother Mzansi host Lawrence Maleka and Big Brother Naija’s Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will co-host this debut season.

Fans of Big Brother Mzansi and Big Brother Naija in the diaspora are not left out as Showmax will stream the show in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and about 50 other countries.

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