M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of the Stars

2014-08-03 15:00

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TV channel M-Net and parent company MultiChoice flexed their muscles last weekend with a special made-for-TV variety show at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

The event marked their 27th year in business and M-Net made a big noise about the R1?billion investment it makes annually in local content, talent and development.

The two came out guns blazing with the kind of talent that owes its success to the channel.

It was also an opportunity to look back over the years, with veteran presenters Doreen Morris and Derek Watts in attendance.

The show opens with what seems like a stage construction team caught up in a series of unfortunate events with a generous helping of explosions and smoke on stage?–?only for prankster Leon Schuster to emerge. I must say it looked real to people in the auditorium.

Then hosts Unathi Msengana and John Kani get the ball rolling. Videos of the channel’s success stories and beneficiaries of its investments flash across the screens.

One of its most successful projects was the ­inaugural Face of Africa, which was won by Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba (now Orlandi).

She has since become one of the world’s top ­supermodels and her face has been flashed on the screens of New York’s Times Square and has graced the covers of leading fashion magazines.

Orlandi was there to extol the virtues of M-Net and how it made her an international star. She also modelled a David Tlale creation.

The Forever Young boys Lungile Radu, Thomas Gumede and Siya Ngwekazi also paid their respects to a channel that gave them a chance to shine.

Basetsana Kumalo’s show, the popular Our Perfect Wedding, which is on Mzansi Magic, tipped her hat to the station, as did power couple Connie and Shona Ferguson, the producers of Rockville, a drama that is also screened on ­Mzansi Magic.

There is a funny skit of previous Idols winners who perform with the host, ProVerb, for the show’s judges, Msengana, Gareth Cliff and Randall Abrahams, who pick on him as the least talented of the performers.

Paying homage to MasterChef, chef Benny Masekwameng, who prepared the menu, gets on stage to detail what the guests will feast on.

For a night of TV, it’s ironic that it’s the music that makes this event so memorable.

Do catch the legendary Hugh Masekela belting out his famous song, Stimela, and the duet he performs with Johnny Clegg. The latter also steals the show with his song Impi.

Siyabonga Twala also sings the theme song for the soapie Isibaya, an M-Net success story.

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