TV show 'Mnakwethu' ruffles feathers over portrayal of isiZulu culture

Mnakwethu, a much talked about show on Mzansi Magic has ruffled feathers over its portrayal of isiZulu culture.

The show, which aims to assist men in the cultural practice of polygamy, has been perceived as a platform which allegedly enables the abuse of women and makes a mockery of the practice – common in isiZulu culture.

Mnakwethu airs on Tuesday's on Mzansi Magic, DTV's Channel 161, and the channel describes it as "an emotional, and empowering reality show that gives married men a chance to overpower the fear of introducing polygamy to his current wife" or wives.

But it appears that the public has not received the show in that manner. Grievances on social media have grown with every episode.

In a statement on Sunday, Mzansi Magic called a recent "attack" on host Musa Mseleku "unfortunate".

"It is unfortunate that Musa Mseleku, our host for Mnakwethu which airs on Channel 161 on Tuesdays, was attacked on social media on 23 February 2020. The show was not intended to bring harm to the women featured in it, the Zulu culture and most importantly, its host Musa Mseleku," Mzansi Magic publicity head Philly Kubheka said.

The channel added that "the series was designed to stimulate conversation around social issues that are dealt with in private, however, they affect the broader society".

"We are a platform that provides compelling content which is aimed at evoking and not provoking emotions through illustrating societal norms that reflect the dynamics that come with marriage and mistresses," Kubheka said.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission SA (BCCSA) told Channel24 on Monday that "at this stage, we are not in receipt of complaints which make out a prima facie case in terms of the Code of Conduct for Subscription Broadcasters".  

According to spokesperson for the CRL Rights Commission, Mpiyakhe Mkholo, the commission has not received any complaints about the show.

"Concerned individuals are free to approach the commission if they feel that their culture is being attacked, violated or brought into disrepute. The commission will assess the complaint, investigate and make its pronouncement accordingly," he said on Monday.

Complaints should be made in writing on prescribed forms and can be submitted by hand, or via fax, email or post. Personal details must be included on the form.

Telephonic complaints can also be made. Find the form here.