TV REVIEW: No reality in reality TV

Bonang Matheba (Photo: Getty)
Bonang Matheba (Photo: Getty)

SOUTH Africans’ love for reality TV has reached a high point. The sad news is, reality shows are sometimes scripted, but people still love them. Given the ratings achieved by reality shows, there is no reason to expect the shows to go away anytime soon. Here are some of South Africa's most favourite reality shows.


One of Mzansi’s biggest reality shows is Papa Penny’s show. Even though the show might be manipulated in one form or another, it has an element of believability. In a recent episode, the singer appoints a chef. He not only cooks his food, but tastes it before he eats it in fear of food poisoning.


Queen B’s show is highly dolled up. The show merely focuses on Bonang’s champagne life. The former Live presenter is set on proving she is the Queen of South African entertainment by exposing her glamorous lifestyle for all to see. In one episode she says, “You’re shopping for flowers, I’m shopping for houses.” The show perpetuates how we behave, live and look in order to get attention. 


South Africa’s favourite diva, Somizi Mhlongo, popularly known as Somgaga also has a reality show. The Metro FM breakfast show co-host is witnessed shopping for a R6 million house while he allegedly owes SARS R2,5 million.


This show displays a modern way of finding love. It gives single people, especially those who have been hopelessly looking for love, a different experience.


Much of what happens on The Ranakas is controversial. The public display of anger and bad language is one of the things that have led many to believe that the show is heavily staged. 


Society teaches women that their worth is directly related to how they look. Encouraging this belief distracts women with the notion that success will escape them unless they buy into a  flashy lifestyle and beauty as a commodity. When watching Uyanda’s show, the resounding message is that ordinary is no longer good enough. 


There are also speculations that Diski Divas is staged. The moral bankruptcy of this show is irking. Its lesson is that people will do anything for fame and the only way to get ahead is to behave as ruthlessly as possible.