Top Five Friday: SA reality shows to watch

Ayanda Sishi

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Here are some of SA’s top reality shows to sink your teeth into. We are spoiled for choice in South Africa, because unlike now, for a very long time we have not had reality shows in great numbers that we could watch with relish. For a while the content was competition-based with shows such as […]

Here are some of SA’s top reality shows to sink your teeth into.

We are spoiled for choice in South Africa, because unlike now, for a very long time we have not had reality shows in great numbers that we could watch with relish. For a while the content was competition-based with shows such as Tropika Island of Treasure and SA’s Got Talent.

However, that has changed with shows like Being Bonang and Becoming Mrs Jones that invited us into the lives of celebrities. Now the next wave has come with people wanting to consume real-life content that sometimes differs, and sometimes is close, to the reality that they are living. So, we have compiled a list of new shows to sink your teeth into, if you are a fan of reality television. Here are the top five reality shows you should look out for.

No. 5 Uthando Nes’thembu

Polygamy is not new in South Africa. Our former president was a polygamist. However, the subject has not been explored extensively on television. Hence why Uthando Nes’thembu is a hit with South Africans and the world at large. This show gives us a unique look into the life of Musa Mseleku and his four wives: Busisiwe ‘Macele’, Nokukhanya ‘MaYeni’, Mbali ‘MaNgwabe and Thobile ‘MaKhumalo’. The audience is highly entertained by watching Musa and his wives navigate their lives while practising polygamy.

We get a front row seat into the lives of the Mseleku’s from how the patriarch Musa runs his businesses to how the wives navigate being married to a polygamist in this modern world. They don’t shy away in portraying their family life and all the drama that comes with it from Mseleku asking for a new wife, to the wives attempting to open a new business. The dynamics around the family can be tense at times but watching them works through their problems gives the audience a clear indication that not all traditional families are the same.

You can catch Uthando Nesithembu on DSTV Mzansi Magic channel 161.

No. 4 uMdeni

Umdeni is a reality show that has a new take on family, polygamy and marriage. The reality show explores the dynamics of family relations, sexual orientation and other subjects that are deemed taboo by society at large. Watch Enoch ‘uBaba” Kolobe, along with his three partners: Sifiso Zwane, Alfred Mahlangabeza, and Ayanda Madonsela, navigate life and marriage as a plural family. What makes this show amazing is that the family has very strong ties to their traditions and culture. Their ethos of the family is unconventional, but they prove it works with every episode. Watch Umdeni on DSTV Mojalove channel 157.

No.3 No More Excuses, Pay me my papgeld

This new reality show exposes parents who default on their papgeld, in other words: their maintenance payments. Pay me my Papgeld tracks down the non-paying parent and confronts them on behalf of the pained client. The show is not short on emotional tension as the ones who have been wronged search for answers and highlight the suffering that they have endured taking care of their children. The show entertains audiences with its hardcore investigative social justice stance, which is sure to keep viewers glued to their screens week after week. Catch the real-life drama on DSTV Mojalove channel 157.

No. 2 uTatakho

Presenter and motivational speaker Nimrod Nkosi presents this docu-reality series about the stories of people trying to find out who their biological fathers are. How they find out the truth is through DNA testing. The shows takes this subject very seriously with gut-wrenchingly emotional stories. The grief and sorrow is palpable on the faces of those involved and that is why uTatakho makes sure that there is a clinical psychologist there to help guests work through the trauma of the news they receive on and off the air. Set a date with Nimrod Nkosi on Mzansi Magic channel 161.

No. 1 Real Housewives of Johannesburg

Finally, the beloved franchise has come to South African shores. If you are as much of a consumer of reality television as we are, then you would have jumped for joy at the announcement of this franchise making its way to Johannesburg. This is the show that reality television lovers in South Africa have been waiting for. Real Housewives of Johannesburg showcases the opulent lives of some of Johannesburg’s richest socialites and businesswomen. The cast consists of; Christall Kay, Lendy Ter-Mors, Brinette Seopela, Naledi Willers and mother/daughter duo Evodia Mogase and  Mercy Mogase. The drama is always served with these ladies – from the explosive exchanges between “Madam” Evodia and the colourful Christall to Olwethu Leshabane, a supporting cast member, asking people to sanitise before holding her baby. This show leaves no stone unturned in the art of delivering a high standard of drama. Plus who can forget Christall’s rendition of our national anthem on a group trip to Soweto. The season has just ended but we wait anxiously for this show to return.

Each of these shows are unique, but what they have in common is the ability to captivate and enthral the South African audience. This content is local and is tailor-made for our consumption, and that is something to be celebrated. These shows are thought-provoking; they tug at the heart-strings and they get South Africans engaging in topics that were previously deemed inappropriate. These shows are important and they have a place in this society. If we have missed out on reality shows that you love please tweet us @LiveMagSA.