Fans mob SA TV stars

2013-10-14 00:00

SOUTH African soapie stars have enormous pulling power, as I discovered when I joined SABC3 for a special three-day event in the Eastern Cape recently.

Led by emcees Jack Devnarain (Rajesh) and Motlatsi Mafatshe (Sechaba), Keketso Matabane (Agnes), Robert Whitehead (Barker), Arno Marais (Benjamin le Roux), Maurice Paige (Calvin), Vusi Kunene (Jefferson), Kgomotoso Christopher (Katlego), Tema Sebopedi (Lerato), Linda Sokhulu (Nikiwe), Ashish Gangerpersad (Prada) and Sisa Hewana (Ace), all of whom star in Isidingo, met fans, posed for pictures and signed autographs.

They were joined by 3Talk host Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu, Expresso presenters Leigh-Anne Williams and Graeme Richards (fresh from his recent appearance on Strictly Come Dancing), and Lorna Maseko from Top Billing, at East London’s Hemingways Mall.

Visitors to SABC3’s regional connect could enter competitions like Minute To Win It and enjoyed beauty treatments, while their children made the most of the face painting, juggling and balloon modelling that was on offer.

The SABC3 stars also gave up some time to visit two charitable projects in the city: the inspiring Breath of Life, a place of safety for orphans and a local orphanage where gifts were handed out to the delighted youngsters.

Gangapersad was blown away by the tiny tots at Breath of Life and had this message for his fans: “If you’re ever here, visit these awesome people”.

Working as an arts journalist, I often get to chat to the stars of the big and small screen. That means that I seldom get star-struck these days, but I’m clearly in the minority.

In East London, I was fascinated to see the effect that our television stars had on people.

The stars were mobbed by fans armed with smartphones and determined to get a picture whenever they left the safety of their waiting rooms, the stage or other security-patrolled areas.

What impressed me most, though, was the patience that each of the actors and presenters showed throughout. Even when they were checking in at the airport for their trip back to Jozi, and officially off the clock, they happily posed for pictures, signed autographs and chatted to fans.

Risuna Mayimele, acting network, marketing and on-air manager at SABC3, said of the event: “The SABC3 brand enjoys a loyal following, and regional connect is one of the initiatives we use to get closer to our viewers and interact on a personal level. Hemingways witnessed the biggest party East London has seen in years.”

It certainly was.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

eNCA’s new season of Movers and Shakers, a magazine show presented by Vusi Zion, premieres at 10.50 am today on DStv channel 403.

The show begins with designer David Tlale, who speaks candidly about his hunger to succeed, and KwaZulu-Natal’s Mbongeni Ngema, who speaks about his latest business venture, Zulu TV.

ROYALTY SOAPIE AWARDS

The Royalty Soapie Awards, which had been set to take place on November 2, will now be staged on March 8, 2014, at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Project director Sindile Xulu said: “As a team we are relieved to have a firm date and we will focus our energies on producing a top-class event that reflects the excellence of the work done by South Africa’s burgeoning television soap industry. It will be a night of glamour, entertainment and celebration.”

Finalists in the acting categories will be made on October 23 and voting lines for the most popular soapie will open on November 2. The awards will be broadcast on SABC1.

MTV BASE VJ SEARCH

KwaZulu-Natal’s last hope in the MTV Base VJ Search, 21-year-old Scelo Zwane, from Pietermaritzburg, was knocked out of the reality show last week.

All eyes are now on Cyprian Ndlovu, Tsholo Semenya and Sandile Ntshingilan as they gear up for the final at The Venue, Melrose Arch on October 19.

The winner will get a stylish Citroën DS3 Cabrio worth R315 000, and will host a weekly music show on MTV Base, The Official SA Top 10.

For a recap on the top three candidates, tune into MTV Base (DStv channel 322) on Friday at 5 pm (CAT). The final will be broadcast on October 25.

Public voting for the winner is open from now until midnight on October 18. Visit www.mtvbase.com to find out more.

M-NET SCHEDULE UPDATE

Due to the longer duration of the premiere of Homeland season three tonight, the first season of Nashville will start at 9.40 pm on M-Net.

BAR.ONE MANHUNT

The five remaining contestants in BAR.ONE Manhunt — Bongs Ndima, Jonathan Jonkerman, Johannes Mapalakanye, Subusiso James and Zweli Magaya — travel to Argentina to take part in freestyle football, a task involving Huskies and an epic glacier climb.

The winner will get R500 000 in cash from Nestle, a Hilux Double Cab DC 3.0 D4D RB Raider and a Yamaha Grizzly 300 quad bike.

Catch all the action at 9 pm tomorrow night on SABC1.

BET HIP-HOP AWARDS

The hip-hop industry turned out in force for the BET Hip-Hop Awards recently.

Hosted by Snoop Lion, the awards featured high-energy performances from Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, French Montana, Rick Ross, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Yo Gotti, among many others.

Fans can watch what went down at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Centre in Atlanta on BET International, on TopTV channel 190 and DStv channel 135, at 9 pm on Friday.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

Fans had to say goodbye to Verb from Avoca Hills in the second elimination in the results show of So You Think You Can Dance. Tshego from Mafikeng was also voted off the SABC1 show. To find out what happens to the remaining 14 contestants, watch the dance reality show at 7 pm tonight.

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