Dr Love to Bara’s rescue

2012-09-22 17:01

Celeb doctor to launch reality TV show about general health and hospital issues

There’s a new ward in southern Africa’s largest public hospital – and it’s decorated with Versace vases, imported purple velvet chairs and a glass-topped table surrounded by diamante-studded ottomans.

This is the home of the new 24-hour free-to-air Bara TV channel, which will launch before the end of this year.

Its target audience is primarily the Soweto community.

At its helm is the glamorous and flamboyant Dr Love, real name Mveleli Gqwede.

The one-time doctor to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has turned the old student-doctors’ residence near the TB clinic at Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital into a fully fledged television studio with soundproofed walls, tiered seating and a stage.

Gqwede insists the station is privately funded and will not cost taxpayers or patients a cent.

But he refused to name the station’s benefactors.

“Government has not come to the party yet,” is all he would say.

Simon Zwane, the spokesperson for Gauteng’s health department, confirmed this, saying: “Although Bara TV will assist in health education, money intended for patient care would not be used to fund the channel.”

Bara TV will focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and educating people about different aspects of health and treatment.

It will also have interactive programmes where the audience can share their concerns about Bara, and ask doctors and the management questions.

Gqwede, a close friend of the hospital’s chief executive, Johanna More, said a reality medical television channel was long overdue.

Gqwede said: “It started back when I used to work at Jozi FM (in 2010). I use to receive a lot of calls from listeners complaining about Bara and other health issues.

“One day I requested a meeting with More and discussed an idea of having an open line where people could interact with the CEO. A few months later, she called me to ask what I had in mind.”

More bought into the idea and agreed to accommodate the TV studios in the hospital’s old Glyn Thomas building.

Dr Love said all systems were in place and the first broadcast should be on Christmas Day.

“We have ­received a pilot licence – all that is left is to ignite the light” he said.

Dr Love recently ended his short stint with Soweto TV, where he hosted a health and lifestyle show.

 Before that he was the co-host of a popular show on Jozi FM.


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