Young, famous and pointless - Is this the best our continent can do?

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The wardrobe is the star of this show, nothing else. Photo: Supplied
The wardrobe is the star of this show, nothing else. Photo: Supplied



Available on Netflix SA

I had the distinct displeasure of watching the first African reality show on Netflix. What a load of trite. This poorly written show suckered in the likes of Nigerian Afro beats stars 2Face/2Baba, Diamond Platinumz, as well as Nigerian designer Swanky Jerry.

Locally, it lured Metro FM’s Naked DJ and his girlfriend, semi-pro footballer Kayleigh Schwark, but what really hurt was the inclusion of actor and broadcaster Khanyi Mbau and her significant other, Kudzai Mushonga, as well as rapper Nadia Nakai, who at the time was dating the rather underwhelming American rapper Vic Mensa.

READ: Young, Famous & African – here is what you need to know

This show also reveals why Mensa might have ended things with Nakai. If you’re on a whole TV show flirting with Diamond Platinumz it might cause some friction, yeah? Just a theory, I could be wrong.

Naturally, this show trended on release, which has me convinced of one supreme truth in South Africa: More times than not, if you find your record at number one, or your film the most viewed, or your story the most read … that thing sucks. Not always, but mostly.

Yes, the mob is fickle, but the local masses can be rather dim too.

I suffered through seven episodes of this, wondering what the hell Netflix was thinking other than trying to compete with The Real Housewives of Durban on Showmax.

The show is loaded with some cinematic shots, which is unexpected when dealing with this lowest rung of creativity on TV, but that comes standard with Netflix. They can make a turd look like polished gold. Then people take to Twitter completely enamoured by this mediocrity.

We have taught these people that substandard writing and pointless shows are what we love. Out of all the local productions on Netflix, only two are really worth a smart person’s time and those are the horror film 8 (2019) and the action thriller I Am All Girls (2021). I’ll let you argue for the How To Ruin Christmas pictures.

Every other local show or film on this platform is arguably some of the worst content I’ve seen in my life. Not only has Netflix bricked (a term used in basketball for horrific misses), but they put a house up as well.

Mbau and Nakai are honestly too good at what they do to resort to this. Nakai is one of the most improved rappers in the country. She also happens to be a Nicki Minaj fan. When have you seen Minaj as a cast member on a reality show? Mbau is a gifted actor who can box with the best. You’ll never catch Shannon Esra or Sindi Dlathu doing reality TV. Mbau is as good as both.

READ: 'Money calms me' - Africa's hottest Netflix reality show Young, African & Famous is here

Then they had the audacity to dredge up Andile Ncube, who hasn’t been relevant since he stood at the side of Bonang Matheba on SABC’s Live Amp around 2007. It’s like he lost his mojo along with the dreads, a little like that dude Samson in the Bible.

Then there’s Naked DJ ... honestly, who cares bro? You won’t catch Alicia Keys on Celebrity Apprentice anytime soon, she’s too busy being ill at what she does.

This production makes me miss Queen Sono, which was also trash. If this gets a second season then it will be an admission of defeat by Netflix to Showmax. The latter has had Devilsdorp and The Wife, what exactly is going to happen when Blood Psalms comes out? Netflix, on the other hand, gave us Blood and Water.

READ: Local filmmakers get the greenlight to create compelling movies again

Despite that, every local fashion designer who had their brands appear in this show, from Gert-Johan Coetzee to Zyle Clothing, should be proud of themselves. The wardrobe is the star of this show, nothing else.


Phumlani S Langa 


+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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