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10 Best SA Celebrity Reality Shows – Ranked!

A hotlist of reality shows that actually bang.

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10. BOITY- OWN YOUR THRONE 

Boity has built and nurtured quite the blockbuster name in Entertainment.

Having started out as a TV presenter, the 30-year-old has bolstered her portfolio by becoming a rapper, and delving into retail while locking down a powerful profile as one of South Africa’s most popular celebrities.

Boity invited the cameras into her spiritual world, as she consults her ancestors. Photo: DStv Catchup

Boity invited the cameras into her spiritual world, as she consults her ancestors. Photo: DStv Catchup

So it was only natural that she would follow in the footsteps of her contemporaries, the likes of Bonang and Somizi, in launching her very own reality show.

Taken from her motto, the wise #OwnYourThrone she’d already used on many of her social media posts through the years, the reality show finally debuted in February this year.

Own Your Throne chronicled Boity’s personal and professional life as she navigated the demands of fame while building her brand, working on new music, living her life, and being a young girl with her money on her mind.

There’s no word on whether or not the show will be returning for another season on BET just as yet. But OMG if it does, we do hope there will be more focus on substantive content that really delves into her actual reality, beyond the highly controlled display of what she obviously allows fans to see.

9. MINNIE JONES – BECOMING MRS JONES 

In October 2017, Minnie Dlamini premiered a docu-series that gave viewers the awe-inspiring scenes of her journey to marriage with the love of her life, Quinton Jones.

The four-part TV wedding special, which aired at first exclusively on 1Magic before being made available to Mzansi Magic viewers, took us through all the hoops that define the exciting chapter.

South African Celebrity Couples 2018

Keeping up with the Jones. Photo: Instagram/Minnie Dlamini

The show took us through the couple’s two weddings, the traditional and their white wedding. Fans delighted in seeing the South African media personality open up her life to the camera, as the reality show featured her closest friends and family getting plenty of screen time, including diary sessions.

Although the very poetic diary confessionals were picked on by some for being a tad corny, there’s no doubt that Dlamini set a high standard with the show.

8. DINEO AND SOLO – KWAKUHLE KWETHU 

So by the time Dineo and Solo Langa started shopping around a wedding TV special for their journey to marital bliss, a working format had already been established.

Unlike Minnie’s special, however, the South African celebrity couple marked a departure from the pretty texture and instead layered theirs with a very real glimpse into the intersections of love and African spirituality for a young couple in the modern world.

Kwakuhle Kwethu on Showmax

Played out over three weeks in three parts, the show shied not from the couple’s melded spiritual experiences. During the seven years that they dated before sealing the deal, they’d supported each other’s spiritual journeys as they answered their ancestral calls to become healers.

The show gave us scenes that sparked many conversations, as we saw them perform a sacred ritual near a flowing river, Solo leading a goat to its slaughter, and lots more that preceded the final white wedding.

7. PENNY PENNY – PAPA PENNY AHEE 

By the time Penny Penny’s reality show debuted on Mzansi Magic, he’d already distinguished himself as one of the best selling South African musicians of all time.

Real name Giyani Kulani, he shot to fame in 1994 after his debut album, Shaka Bundu, sold 250 000 copies. But while he’d already maintained a loyal fanbase for his popular XiTsonga disco sound, locals didn’t know what to expect on his reality show.

The content they got on Papa Penny Ahee helped the show soar in ratings, propel Penny Penny’s fame even further, and score multiple seasons. The show offers viewers a vibrant and very real showcase of the hitmaker’s interesting life with his family.

Set in Limpopo with Xitsonga as the main language and culture, the show also gives us a refreshing look at everyday life in Limpopo, a sight we never really get to see.

6. EVODIA MOGASE – MADAME & MERCY 

Having gained their popularity during their appearance as Housewives of season 1 of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, Madam and Mercy Mogase already had an audience patiently awaiting the landing of their highly buzzed reality show.

The mother and daughter’s interesting dynamic, along with their funny quotables, high fashion flossing shade and plenty of drama, had already proven to be a hit with viewers during their short-lived stay on RHOJ.

Madame & Mercy finally premiered to much fanfare in April this year. In the absence of the group dynamics on RHOJ, here the two could finally delve a little bit deeper and take viewers along much further than just the dinners and light drama.

For the most part, it worked. Viewers loved seeing how Evodia makes her money – the mindset and work ethic that maintains her big bank. The show’s honesty and the cast’s vulnerability was a nice balance to the sparkling, upper echelon displays of wealth.

Though, we expected a little bit more and felt that at times, the show appeared to lack direction and felt lost.

5. SHAWN MKHIZE – KWA MAM’KHIZE

By now, it shouldn’t be a secret that South African viewers love watching rich people being rich. This obsession with the enviable lives of the affluent is the secret behind the success of such shows as Rich Kids and Real Housewives of Johannesburg. 

Kwa Mam Khize

You can add the actual content around the scenes putting the opulence on display, but big money equals big ratings.

So there was no way that Shawn Mkhize’s show was going to go under the radar. The famed Durban businesswoman, whose name has been splashed all over the media thanks to a slew of reported charges that were later dropped, a highly publicized divorce and her opulent lifestyle.

Kwa Mam’Khize gave the people exactly what they wanted; sightings of the mansions and all the sparkling toys of her lush life. She also showcased bits of her involvement with philanthropic efforts, which showed bits of her heart.

4. KELLY KHUMALO – LIFE WITH KELLY KHUMALO

The Showmax 7-part original offers a lens into the life of one of South Africa’s most polarising superstars, Kelly Khumalo. Entitled the Life With Kelly Khumalo, the reality series premiered on the streaming service on the 6th of August 2020.

With the controversy that follows Khumalo every year, this South African celebrity reality show is such a no brainer that the announcement was met with a collective nod.

Khumalo has been a fixture in the headlines over her turbulent relationship with the father of her son Jub Jub, conspiracies about her involvement in the death of her daughter’s father, Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa, as well her recent sibling ‘divorce’ from her sister Zandie.

On the show, the powerhouse singer lifts the veil and allows viewers into the reality that lies beyond what they think they know about her.

3. BONANG MATHEBA – BEING BONANG 

Over the three seasons of Bonang Matheba’s popular 1Magic reality show, the media personality and businesswoman lived up to her own advice; “Give the people what they want!”

A chunk of the memes and famous lines you might have come across on social media were all birthed on the Bar Leader produced show.

“Champagne darling!”, is one such term. Thanks to its viral appeal, it wasn’t long before Bonang leveraged it to a line of T-shirts as part of a collaboration with an online clothing retailer. “Re tsene, we are within!” is another one of those popular phrases that been soaked in the culture.

In a nutshell, the show gave us scenes of Bonang expressing herself through her larger than life personality. She gave us fashion and high-end editorial shoots, her globetrotting adventures, interactions with loved ones and celebrity friends, and much more.

But after an alleged dispute between her and the production company, she broke many hearts by deciding to end the show.

Though, just between us, the show probably ended at the perfect time, while people were still asking for more. We reckon the light focus on the show, which never gave us anything more than the fluffy and fabulous elements, would have eventually gotten old.

2. SOMIZI – LIVING THE DREAM WITH SOMIZI

Somizi probably has the most bankable personality in South Africa.

It’s his authentic personality that sparks the most buzz around Idols South Africa, where he has become arguably the most talked-about judge. It’s also the draw to his 2020 cooking show, Dinner at Somizi’s. Locals love Somizi, and it shows.

His wedding special Somizi & Mohale: The Union broke records after its launch on Showmax, becoming the most-streamed title on the streaming platform of all time. Proof that Somizi is a draw for ratings is right there.

But on this list, we are going to have to go with the award-winning Living The Dream With Somizi. Out of all the recent South African celebrity reality shows, this would be the most authentic. Somizi does not shy away from showing us the splashy along with the not so pretty. We see vulnerability on this show.

We see the power, but also see him fall in love and navigate gay marriage within a fiercely heteronormative landscape.

1. DINEO RANAKA – DINEO’S DIARY 

Once upon a time, reality shows were taboo in South Africa. In many ways, they were seen as an American phenomenon, and South African celebrities were afraid to touch the format over concerns about overexposure and, perhaps, not having the content needed to keep viewers tuning in just to watch you being you.

When Dineo Ranaka’s reality show premiered, social media was just starting to catch the fire. TV channels weren’t giving a greenlight to the format and we just didn’t really know what a reality show looks like.

It’s for this reason Ranaka is lauded for being a pioneer in this space. She delivered everything that established a blueprint for what was to follow!

The show, which aired on VUZU and aired for 5 season, centred on Dineo and the drama that attended to her life. So we got our fair share of screamfests and things being thrown all over the place. She let us in on her grind, her turbulent romantic relationship as well as her relationship with her family.

Dineo’s Diary succeeded in every respect you’d want in a reality show – it was dramatic, funny, emotional, entertaining and most importantly, real.

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Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.

When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.

A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.

The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.

This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.

Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.

Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.

After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.

Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.

In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.

After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.

Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.

THE ENDING

Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.

Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.

In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?

Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.

We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.

What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.

Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.

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First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe,  the world ready to let old baggage go.

The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.

While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.

With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.

It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.

We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.

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