Chit chat: Redi Direko

2010-07-17 16:25

In celebration of Nelson Mandela Day, Redi Direko is joined by Graça Machel on her new talkshow Redi on Mzansi Magic, which airs on the new M-Net channel.

What can viewers expect from your talkshow?

I think it’s a bit of everything – a total departure from what my radio show is all about.

It’s got a relaxed feel, is shot in a house in Sandhurst and is ­conversational.

Why does South Africa need another talkshow?

Talkshows are like literature – it’s simply part of broadening the dialogue and the way we interact with each other.

What questions are you most uncomfortable asking?

I don’t think anything is too sensitive to ask or talk about.

I don’t like to be censored and while I respect people’s privacy, I think it’s up to the ­interviewee to decide if a question is too personal to be answered.

What spurred your decision to get back into TV after leaving

I never intended to leave TV ­permanently.

I left because I felt that my radio show dealt with current affairs already and I didn’t want to be a current affairs presenter on TV too.

Is there a talkshow host you would like to emulate on your show?

I am a big fan of being natural and I would like viewers to trust Redi and emulate my own ­character.

At the same time, however, I don’t see anything wrong with having talkshow heroes.

There is a reason why Oprah is so good at what she does.

She is a know-it-all with a sense of vulnerability and I would like to infuse that aspect of her show into mine.

I also would like to use Larry King’s laid-back approach too.

In South Africa, I admire business presenter Lerato ­Mbele’s work ethic and professionalism.

What is your take on the World Cup and South Africa moving forward now that the event is over?

I am still suffering from a massive World Cup hangover!

I think that ­moving forward we must not underestimate what was portrayed during the World Cup – that we really all can get along.

I would also like to see how government uses its success during the World Cup and applies it to ­everyday life.

Where and when was the last time you went on ­holiday?

It was last year in New York where my fiancé and I ran the New York Marathon.

It was really fantastic.

What’s the biggest ­misconception people have of you?

There are so many.

The biggest one, ­however, is that I am too ­serious.

But people who know me, know that I am very mischievous and love a good giggle.

Other than talking and writing, is there anything else that you are really good at?

I love cooking and I am really good at it.

What’s your next step in world domination?

I must confess, at the ­moment I am really ­daunted by this talkshow.

It’s the first time I have a show with just my name attached to it.

It’s my ­biggest challenge so I am focusing on that for now.

What did you think of Graça Machel when you interviewed her for your show?

The interview was quite personal.

I spoke to her about what it’s like living with Nelson Mandela and ­being so protective of him.

What’s your birthday wish for Madiba?

In honouring Nelson Mandela, let him have some peace and quiet with his family.

I think we should also ­honour Mandela by considering that every time we run a red light, steal, cheat or do wrong, it is a ­subversion of his legacy.

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