DStv’s five-part documentary about the Springboks’ momentous journey to winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup is personal, poignant and sensitively told. Interviews with players and crew have shown a candour and depth of emotion linked to both their on and off-field experiences in Japan last year.
The winning of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) is one of the biggest nation-building events South Africa has ever witnessed. If you look at the 1995, 2007 and 2019 victories, there were smiles on the faces of our rainbow nation for weeks after.
In the midst of this extremely tough year, Chasing the Sun takes viewers on a journey that culminates in a powerful and historic victory.
4 favourite insights from the interviews so far.
1.“Was Siya ready? Yes he was. Was it a bold move? Yes it was,” Jean de Villiers.
When Rassie Erasmus accepted the job as Springbok coach one of his first moves was to place transformation front as centre of the conversation with the team. Not for quotas, but because of the amazing impact a truly transformed team would have both on and off the pitch.
Appointing Siya Kolisi as captain was a huge part of Erasmus’ plan. No one was more surprised than Siya himself at the announcement but the decision was the right one – one that set the side on the path to RWC glory.
“There were people who took a taxi and a bus all the way from the Eastern Cape, singing all the way, to celebrate that day,” says Siya of his first match as Springbok captain. The appointment turned Kolisi into a national treasure and converted many South Africans into rugby fans. It also converted the likes of Herschel Jantjies – a lifelong All Blacks fan – to a Springbok supporter.
2.“I obviously wanted the team to say something,” Rene Naylor, physiotherapist.
The murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana and a number of other tragic gender based crimes sparked nationwide protests in South Africa in the week of 24 August. The team’s female physio, Rene Naylor, called on the team to speak out in support of the protesters. The decision was taken not to, a decision both Kolisi and Erasmus deeply regret.
‘I wish I had said something, as a man. Women in South Africa are always under attack, we should be saying something. I think most men would listen to us,” says Kolisi.
Rassie was in tears during his interview on the subject, “It was me that said ‘let’s just focus on rugby’, let’s inspire when we deserve to inspire. I should have said ‘guys let’s talk out about it’.”
However, one player, Makazole Mapimpi, felt he had to stand with South African women. He flashed a wristband with the words Nene 2019 during a match.
3.“At the hotel there were three options of Wi-Fi to log onto – Brighton 1, Brighton 2, Brighton 3,” Matthew Pearce, rugby journalist.
The hotel staff appeared to have a wicked sense of humour. With the Boks having lost 34-32 to minnows Japan in a 2015 RWC match in Brighton, England, the Wi-fi passwords were a stark reminder of this fateful day which Siya Kolisi described as “one of most embarrassing moments in my rugby career.”
After four years living with the ‘trauma’ of arguably the biggest upset in rugby union history, the Springboks were luckily on the path to redemption in Tokyo.
4.“We planned to be the first team in Tokyo and the last team to leave Tokyo”
Erasmus focussed on conditioning and fitness, bringing in Aled Walters, head of athletic performance to get them into top physical shape. In his interview, Walters says, “I used to have the perception that if only South Africa were fit, they would be incredible.”
While the players put in the effort, some of the older guys had a few words to say about it. “Pieter-Steph (Du Toit) lost almost five kgs in one training session, that’s how hard it was.” Kwagga Smith.
The first two episodes also share moving insights into a number of the players’ personal journeys to the Rugby World Cup and Erasmus’ brilliant strategy to becoming champions again. Episode three of Chasing the Sun airs at 18:00 on M-Net (DStv 101) on Sunday, 18 October and is available on Catch Up.
Wendy Williams Biopic + Doccie Premiere in South Ah this Weekend
How you doin’?
Last month, popular American television talk show host Wendy Williams caused a frenzy in South Africa after claiming that April 10th was an official Wendy Williams holiday in the country. We understand it happened after a chat with local media personality Anele Mdoda.
But while such a holiday does not exist anywhere in our calendar, this Saturday does come with a special event on Lifetime, where Wendy’s biopic and documentary will be airing back to back at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively. We’re getting the popcorn all sorted for that one!
Both autobiographical projects distill the award winning broadcaster’s iconic career and her life journey, which includes intimate details of her life that ended up making her the hot topic. Wendy Williams: The Movie will be screening for the first time on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 tonight, with the documentary Wendy Williams: What A Mess’ coming on right after.
Williams co-executive produced the biopic, which covers her entire life. The movie reveals all the highs and lows through the years as she became the most talked about radio shock jock in the late 1990’s to mid 2000’s, when she became known as the undisputed Queen of radio in America. Wendy has cultivated the reputation of being the exclusive celebrity tea on her radio shows, before successfully leveraging that into her eponymous talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.
In recent years, however, Wendy found herself being the at the main topic on the blogs. Amongst other things, rumours of her now former husband cheating on her and settling with the mistress, who also got pregnant, were splashed all over the media.
The Lifetime feature provides a revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show. In it, she explores the fast paced world behind mic and camera, which includes battle with drug addiction in the early years, dealing with infidelity with her husband, the heated climate that resulted from her shock jock career, and more. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter.
The doccie, on the other hand, is Wendy Williams talking about absolutely everything.
Wendy Williams: The Movie and Wendy Williams: What A Mess air on Lifetime, DStv channel 131 on Saturday, April 10th at 19:20 and 20:50 respectively.
Everything to Expect on Netflix in March
Loyiso Gola Comedy Special, Biggie Doccie and more.
We’ve been quite excited about the premiere of the Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell documentary, which landed on Netflix on Monday, March 1st. It distills the life of the Hip Hop icon, giving us a further dive into the fast-paced reality that propelled him to a god-like figure before his tragic death.
But we are also looking forward to Loyiso Gola’s original Netflix original comedy special, which debuts on the streaming platform March 23rd. It’s called Unlearning, and we are digging around for more tea on it for you. Keep an eye!
Here’s what’s coming up on Netflix (South Africa) through March
LOYISA GOLA: UNLEARNING (NETFLIX ORIGINAL COMEDY SPECIAL) 23/03/2021
South African comedian Loyiso Gola serves up practical philosophy and filter-free humor as he tackles topics like race, identity and world politics.
BIGGIE: I GOT A STORY TO TELL – NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCCIE NOW STREAMING
Featuring rare footage and in-depth interviews, this documentary celebrates the life of The Notorious B.I.G. on his journey from hustler to rap king.
MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS – NETFLIX DOCCIE 3/3/2021
High-stakes exploits turn deadly — and shake a global church to its core — in this extraordinary true crime story.
FORMULA 1: DRIVE TO SURVIVE: SEASON 3 PREMIERING 19/3/2019
During a shortened 2020 season, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and other top drivers pursue checkered flags as COVID-19 turns the world upside down.
WHO KILLED SARA – ORIGINAL SERIES 24/3/2021
After 18 years in prison, Álex takes his revenge on the Lazcano family, who framed him for the murder of his sister Sara to save their reputation.
CAUGHT BY A WAVE – NETFLIX ORIGINAL FILM 25/03/2021
After falling in love at a beachside summer camp in Sicily, a painful truth inspires two teenage sailing enthusiasts to live their lives to the fullest.
NAILED IT!: DOUBLE TROUBLE – NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES 26/03/2021
When two clueless cake “artists” team up, the reveals are even more ridiculous. From best buds to brothers and sisters, these bakers are twice as bad.
BAD TRIP – NETFLIX ORIGINAL FILM 26/03/2021
In a hidden-camera comedy from the producer of “Bad Grandpa,” two pals embark on a road trip full of funny pranks that pull real people into the mayhem.
HAUNTED: LATIN AMERICA – NETFLIX SERIES 31/03/2021
Real people’s terrifying tales of the chilling, unexplained and paranormal come to life with dramatic reenactments in this reality series.
Browse The Latest Series, Movies, Reality Shows To Stream in SA NOW!
Netflix’s ‘Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell’ First Look
It was all a dream.
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell is the definitive portrait of the man who became The Notorious B.I.G. With unprecedented access granted by the Wallace estate, this cinematic documentary is an emotional and personal journey through the people, places, and events that created the greatest hip-hop artist of all-time.
In rarely seen footage from his breakout years, we go behind the scenes with Biggie to watch him create classic songs in the studio and bring them to life onstage in incredible unseen concert clips. Intimate and candid interviews show the most trusted members of Biggie’s inner circle opening up like never before to share stories that have never been told publicly.
In the words of his mother, Voletta Wallace: “This will be the first documentary to focus on the experiences of my son’s life rather than the circumstances of his death. It is a celebration of who he was and where he came from. This is how he would have wanted to be remembered.”