Tomorrow, South Africa’s Bonang Matheba will celebrate her birthday. For someone still so young, her resume is as long as some of the industry’s oldest and experienced names. From radio, to TV, magazine covers to webisodes, the “Queen B” has done it all, but this year’s birthday present (and next project)must take the cake. I’m sure many of you are going to love this too. Her real life is one that many can only fantasize about, but luckily for you and I she takes us all on a journey whenever she’s signs on for a new deal, appears on a new show, or delivers her magic on radio or on TV.
This weekend the star continues to explore her international opportunities. She once again finds herself back in LA for the BET Awards. Last year she walked the red carpet. This year she’s hosting it as part of the BET INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL GLITZ & GLAM STAGE FOR BET AWARDS RED CARPET, on Sunday, 26 June.
“I have had the opportunity to walk the BET AWARDS carpet before, and I was so honored to receive the call up for this glamorous event. I was more astounded when my PR team informed me that I would be hosting SOLO. This alone gives credence to the time that I put into everything I do and how I have consciously positioned myself since the beginning of this year. Yes I have done this before, but the nerves are more as the BET AWARDS carpet is graced by some of the best in global entertainment. It is such a blessing and I will do more than my best.”
A Marie Claire magazine cover and now this? A very happy birthday to she who reigns supreme!
As if I have to tell you where to follow her, but just in case you’ve been sleeping:
I’ve loved watching this #OpenUpTheIndustry hashtag and the accompanying conversation unfold. To hear from would-be, up and comers, A-listers, industry experts, and radio personalities on 702’s Night Talk last night was great. It’s amazing to see how passionate some of you up and coming entertainers are about this topic. It’s also amazing to see how some of the ‘A-listers’ have taken offence and become somewhat defensive as a result. I remain objective and I see both sides of the hashtag convo. Here’s what I have observed and can offer in terms of suggestions, if I may:
If you’re a commissioning editor, producer, director, casting agent, you’ll be concerned with ratings. That’s fair, but don’t be fooled by a big social media following. A big social media following doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get all of those hundreds of thousands of followers watching your show. What happens when your show is only on the pay-tv, premium package? It means a significant amount of those followers might not be in the position to watch your show. Bear that in mind when you’re casting
Your PR minds are constantly on the go; be it good or bad press. It’s press. I guess that’s how stars are made and shows get ratings. Is it right? Probably not all the time, but it’s the business and that’s the way it works
Casting agents, broadcasters need to exercise some tough-love with some constructive feedback. Instead of saying sorry it’s a no, offer some reasoning as to why it’s a no. Sometimes you’re just not right for the brief, sometimes you just aren’t talented enough for the industry. I believe that if such transparency is offered (not in a nasty manner), it will give you the answers, the closure you need to move on with your life and pursue your other dreams.
Let me tell you about my experienced. I’ve submitted demo after demo, had meetings for days with the correct people, auditioned countless times. Hell I was referred to as the Ryan Seacrest of South Africa a few years back, and yet I haven’t been given the platform to showcase those areas as much as I’d hoped. Is it because I’m not ‘pretty’ enough for TV, or that I’m not as talented as I believe I am? I don’t know because nobody has told me as much
Sometimes you need to take the less fickle and shallow approach and give the undiscovered, raw, ‘unprettied’ talent a shot. Maybe we should start a channel for ‘ugly people’. Some of the most unpolished in the looks department individuals might actually turn out to be the most talented, and successful, commercially
If you’re investing in productions, invest your talent too – with proper, competitive salaries. In that way, you can lock them in, and they can be associated with your brand only. You’re likely to retain them for longer too. I’m sure talent would appreciate that too
Can we actually move away from the format shows where you go on a nationwide search to find the next big thing is done. It’s tired. It’s boring. Quite frankly, you may discover the talent, but once the show has aired, you don’t do anything further to keep that hype up. Sure, the winner or top five or whatever should do their bit too, but to go from zero to hero on a massive platform, to well done, you won, do your thing is not great. Time to go back to the drawing board
You can study all you want. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get the big break you desire because you have a Masters in Drama or were top of your class in Presenting. Talent floats to the top and sometimes yours doesn’t quite match up. It’s just what it is. Again, someone making those decisions should tell you if you ask.
While I am qualified and trained in my field, and I respect all my fellow peers who have done the same, it’s not fair to say that those who haven’t studied are not eligble for these opportunities too. Some are naturally talented, gifted in this field and you can’t dispute that. What will you say when that person goes on to winner an Oscar or an Emmy? I have one person in mind who I believe will achieve this one day, and she is trained in a completely different field. I won’t mention her name, but she knows and believes in her talent just as much as I do, and you cannot dispute that. She was given the chance and trust me they could’ve cast someone far more qualified, but they saw something in her… It’s probably the closest one will get to a definition of the x-factor. These decision makers might appear to give special treatment here and there, but don’t think you wont get your chance if you’re good and convincing enough
If you don’t feel like you’re getting the opportunity, make one. I told someone on social media last night that YouTube can be your new best business partner. If you have an idea and the broadcasters aren’t keen, go and pitch the living daylights out of it to a potential funder. Will they get their ROI? If your idea is good enough and you wholeheartedly believe in yourself and your project, then yes they will. Remember Caspar Lee (you may have seen his videos or seen him in Spud) didn’t get his big break on TV. He used YouTube and his current reach and influence speak for themselves.
We don’t need eight other Bonangs. You’ll never be Bonang and quite frankly you shouldn’t try. Be unique, be you and shine. I understand the thinking around that statement, I do. Just keep your hustle up, knock on doors, then knock again. Phone, pester, make sure they know you’re serious and in the interim continue to build you profile. If it’s to be and you believe it, it will come.
We have a long way to go in our little industry. We don’t need to bash the ones we aspire to be like, or are inspired by. We don’t need to break them down. We do need to carry on with the honest, frank and constructive conversations. Let your voice be heard… Maybe this is how your big break will appear 😉
What on earth is going on? It’s the 10th of September, a day that is supposed to be a day of celebration, as entertainment giant E! Entertainment launches its first African production called E! News Special. The show will go ahead as planned at 8pm with the first guest, the ‘Queen’ of entertainment, Bonang Matheba.
But while E! Gets read to push the play button, Bonang has been hit a major blow… In the form of a very raw blog post by DJ Zinhle, in which seems claims Matheba and her former boyfriend (and father of her child) AKA had been romantically involved while Zinhle was pregnant. Ouch! On her blog the new mom says, “A week before our daughter was born, I found out about an affair between Kiernan (the father of my child) and Bonang Matheba. I also received confirmation of all rumours through an honest conversation which I had with Kiernan, who confirmed that the affair had been going on for over 5 months.” Read the full post here. Both Matheba and AKA have rubbished the reports, with Matheba’s team issuing a statement saying the matter is now in the hands of her legal team! AKA also released a statement dismissing the post:
For immediate release:
Johannesburg, Thursday, 10 September 2015
Press Statement on behalf of AKA
As a result of DJ Zinhle’s recent blog post, I feel the need to provide clarity on the allegations contained therein.
I would have preferred that this could have been dealt with privately. Break ups can be tough and emotionally draining for all involved. I would like to add that myself and Bonang Matheba are not an item and never have been.
My energies are focused on my career and my daughter at this time.
Obviously social media is abuzz, with people voicing their opinions despite probably knowing any of the three personalities. I’m not even going to mention them here. You can see it all unfolding on Twitter. This is a serious matter, but damn South Africans know how to have a laugh in tough times. Craziness.
My biggest question…. what on earth is going on here? Who is lying?
So Bonang is no longer associated to the SABC – their loss. In life there are winners too, and in this situation the winners are Bonang Matheba and the Pay TV folks. Bonang is guest presenting on a World Cup lifestyle show on SuperSport. She has once again hosted Clash of the Choirs on Mzansi Magic and now Vuzu is getting ready to celebrate their fifth birthday with the one who “reigns supreme”. What next for the queen? I know there’s something brewing… Wait and watch!
Bonang will be hosting a special birthday edition of V-Entertainment on Tuesday, 1 July (tomorrow) at 18:00. #TurnsUp. Here’s a snippet from the press release received earlier this morning:
As Vuzu celebrates its birthday with our most talked about media darling, she will be taking viewers through what went down at the ever-so controversial Vuzu dinner party with guest’s Bujy, yummy model Maps Maponyane, Joburg’s Gossip Gangster Mika Stefano, Funny Guy Trevor Gumbi, Socialites Lerato Sengadi, and Khanyi Mbau (insert: now full-time actress) and that Italian-Zulu girl Sade Giliberti.
Happy birthday Vuzu… I’ve loved watching you blossom before our eyes!!
Bonang Matheba added a sexy lingerie line to her name earlier this month. The Top Billing presenter has collaborated with top retailer, Woolworths to create Distraction By Bonang.In the pictures I have seen online, the star looks incredibly gorgeous and hey, if you’re a lady wanting to look and feel as good as Bonang, or you’re a boyfriend, girlfriend or husband who would like to spoil the lady in your life for Valetine’s Day, then best you head on down to Woolworths. Check out this interview Bonang did with Women24 and see what she has to say about the line and more.
What else does B* have in store for us this year? She never disappoints, so let’s see!
Favourite music star (co-sponsored by Jacaranda FM): Lira
Favourite radio personality: Rian van Heerden
Funniest South African: Leon Schuster
Favourite soapie: 7de Laan
I didn’t do too badly in my predictions… Sorta 😉 Check out my predictions here. Congratulations to all the winners and a special shout out to a few of my favourite people in the industry, Ms Jeannie D, Khaya, Melinda and Lira! Big up to Queen B, Bonang Matheba… another award under her belt… Her #WinningWays continue.