Five minutes with Real Housewives of Cape Town director Kgosana Monchusi

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Kgosana Monchusi is a Soweto born and bred creative.
Kgosana Monchusi is a Soweto born and bred creative.

The reality show hasn't even started yet and it's got people talking. South Africans have had plenty to say about the Real Housewives of Cape Town. 

Sitting in the director's chair for this fourth African adaptation of the franchise is Kgosana Monchusi, the man who directed the hit South African film, A Safe Bet.

Mzansi Magic recently announced that the much-loved reality show, which often showcases the lives of the rich and famous, will be headed to Cape Town. 

We catch up with the Soweto-born and bred creative who will be yelling 'action'. He's been an entertainer most of his life.

When he was in high school, Kgosana started performing at talent shows, doing music. He enrolled at the University of  Witwatersrand in 2006 to study music and during this time, he fell in love with film composition.  

After completing his studies, he started working in the TV industry composing and working as an audio engineer for production companies. 

"I absorbed and learned as much as possible from fellow creatives and friends, teaching myself how to edit, film and direct. I then decided to freelance for various production companies to further grow my skillset, working on several shows including, Forever Young, Clifton Shores, Crimes Uncovered, Sketch You Later, and many more," he tells Drum.  

Read more | 'Sarafina is a once in a lifetime kind of film' - director Darrell Roodt goes down memory lane

He has since worked for Ster-Kinekor, Empire Entertainment, Lucozade, Tastic and in 2016 he and his business partner finally realised the dream of producing TV shows when BET commissioned their company to produce BET Buzz, a daily 2 minute entertainment show. To date Weldun Media has produced several TV shows including BET A-list, Hashtags and more.  

rhoct, cape town, mzansi magic, director
The Real Housewives of Cape Town will premiere on 10 July 2022 on Mzansi Magic.

Kgosana takes us through his role behind the scenes of the much-loved global reality show, as fans get ready to tune into the opulence, entertainment, and scenic views that Cape Town has to offer on Real Housewives. 

For those who might not know, what is the role of a director on a reality series?

You know when people think of reality TV, they often think it’s the easiest form of TV to make; that you just arrive with cameras and press record and wait for the “drama” to happen.

It’s a lot more complex and a lot more structured than that, hence it’s called “structured reality”. The role of the series director is therefore one of the most critical creative roles in structuring the reality.

My role starts before we touch the cameras: I build treatment for the show to create a look and feel. From a story point of view, I start by looking at who the characters are, what key storylines need to be threaded throughout the season, and what the relationship dynamics are.

From an aesthetic point of view it’s: Where are we filming? How are we filming? What is the look of the wardrobe and make-up? What equipment do we film with to achieve the desired look and feel? All these intricate creative details are seen right through to the editing process where I sit with editors and accentuate the characters and storylines that have been captured.

What will be unique about RHOCT? 

Seventeen different franchises show how unique and successful the Real Housewives format is and how it has resonated with so many different audiences around the world.

What I love most about this format is that each franchise owns its lane with the various profiles of the women involved in each country and each city. What makes RHOCT so different is that it’s set in the most beautiful city in the world with the most beautiful diverse cast mix.

This group of women on the show all come from different sides of the Table Mountain, so they bring with them distinctive backgrounds, lifestyles, and personalities, this is bound to lead to unexpected friendships and unfortunate conflict.

How has the show been received by the public?

Only the trailer has been released so far and the public response is already overwhelming to be quite honest. I knew going into this production how loved this franchise is and how massive the following is, but now seeing it materialise is unreal. 

I can’t wait to introduce these wives to the viewers, whether you are a big Housewives fan or not, you are going to be entertained when you tune in to the Real Housewives of Cape Town.

As a director, what tactics did you use to highlight each of the wives' personalities and characters?  

Going into the first season of RHOCT I had a natural concern that the wives would be tense in front of camera and would take time to get comfortable, but to my welcome surprise the women have such bold, infectious personalities that they didn’t require any tactics to make them shine.

Read more | Meet the cast of the Real Housewives of Cape Town

How will viewers get to experience Cape Town from the reality show? 

Everything that Cape Town is known and loved for is exactly what people are going to see in the series. The iconic hotspots, beautiful people, elite social circles, and magnificent scenery is all out in full view. We captured many scenic aerial drone shots to transition between spaces and give the viewer an orientation of where the women were wining and dining, where they party, play, and take a breath for family time

You have worked on many titles, both scripted and unscripted, commercial and film - which is your favourite?

I’m primarily a filmmaker, I love creating worlds, and characters and making people escape for two hours while watching my movies. So, if you had asked me that before doing The Real Housewives of Cape Town I would have said I am drawn to film but in the making of this show I was able to go on a real journey and spend time with the wives, and as a result have really enjoyed the special experience of documenting their lives and genuinely rooting for each of these wives.

RHOCT will premiere on Mzansi Magic on Sunday, 10 July 2022.

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