TV guide: DJ Sbu

2011-05-06 10:08

Last week DJ Sbu tweeted that his latest appearance in a magazine is his 43rd ­cover in the 10 years since he became a celebrity. After prime time slots on three ­radio stations, a clothing label and his long-running game show, the man is a bona fide A-lister on the South African entertainment landscape.

Then there’s Twitter queen ­Bonang Matheba, who not only has a radio and TV show, but is a sought-after MC, face of a designer label and cover girl, whose face was recently on three different magazines in the same week.

HHP, everyone’s favourite muso (mine too), is another ever-present celeb face. Spot him in an ad for a deodorant that bears the same name as his TV show, listen to him on his Motsweding FM show or perhaps buy something from his clothing range.

These three pretty much sum up some of South Africa’s biggest and overexposed celebrities. And you’re most likely to find them all in one advert at some point with chums like Arno Carstens, Freshlyground, Gangs of Instrumental and Jenna Dover.

Are these the only celebrities left in South Africa?

A case in point: Vuzu’s latest reality show Top Shayela. The predictable line-up of stars for the show, which is a ­series that follows different stars in every episode, had me rolling my eyes.

Bonang, Da L.E.S and surprise, surprise, DJ Sbu, are all set to show us plebs the wonderful life of the rich and famous. Described by Vuzu as a “lifestyle reality series that will take you through the different aspects of a VIP’s way of living. These people were not all born with riches. See how hard grafters hustle and get made!” Local ­celebrity obsession is the norm and we are slightly under par with the rest of the world.

Celebs like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan’s stints both in and out of court are extremely overexposed, but at least I know when I pick up a tabloid I won’t see them advertising the latest winter range from a department store or a cellphone network.

But in SA, we seem to use the same people over and again for everything from TV ads and radio stints to adverts for airtime and hospices.

As Dr James Houran, co-author of Celebrity Worshippers: Inside the Minds of Stargazers, puts it: “When we see people looking perfect and glamorous on TV, we may think they have a perfect life. Money, influence, and nice things often equate to joy for people, and we forget that there is a price associated with all of that.”

My problem is that it’s the same select few celebrities who are walking the ramp at fashion week, landing numerous TV and radio shows, and getting the big sponsorship deals. How about some variety when it comes to ­celebrities?

Why are we stuck with the same faces when we can use the likes of Lala Hiramaya, Minenhle Dlamini, Khabonina Qubeka, Pro and Kim Engelbrecht? Or do we just consider the 20-odd usual suspects the sum of all celebrities in SA?

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