It’s Kinda Funny…
Looking at how our little entertainment playhouse, or rather, the SA entertainment industry has worked out throughout the years, it’s well…. kinda funny. Here’s why:
How about we go back to the 90s, millennium… along those lines, you know?! The days were few had DSTV but jonga, your TV was always on! This was the time when you’d never miss the Duku Duku awards just to see Boom Shaka vs Bongo Maffin vs Trompies vs anything else that was showbiz. It actually reminds me of KC’s one-leg pants. Remember?! Probably around the same time when a group of women launched tomatoes at Generations worst villian at that time, Ntsiki Lukhele.
And the Simunye continuity presenters? How cool and hot were they? Talent, I swear. Speaking of talent, Fridays were made better with Jam Alley. Vinolia was just HEAT. The best energy money could ever buy. *sigh*
Still on about energy….YOTV!! YOTV!! YOTV!!! If you’re reading this and you’re younger than 25, chances are, there was a point when you wanted to be a YOTV presenter. Hoarse-voiced Mandisa, Crazy Lu, Sade, Sphiwe all made it look so fun and also fun was definitely Disney Cartoon Cafe. And while the children were asleep, the grown-ups were treated to the best in local series, I’m talking Yizo Yizo, Hlala Kwaba Fileyo, Streaks, Going Up, Velaphi…tempted to mention “Passions”, but it wasn’t local . H.E.L.L.O, let’s not forget about open time on MNET at 5 *hides*
Before I get carried away, let’s quickly fast track to 2012.
Local TV is good right? Don’t we postpone partying till after 8 on Fridays to make sure we catch Generations? Hahaha. Well, if only that were a reality. Look, let’s be frank here, without DSTV and Top TV these days, many would basically be screwed.
However on a positive note, I’m excited at how there are good quality local films being released, slowly putting us on the map. Some soapies are also doing well…take a look at Isidingo. Great cast. Interesting storyline. Good production.
We also can’t deny that one of the best local series we’ve ever had in SA, was Intersexions which was just last year. There’s also the likes of Bonang, Jeannie D, Dineo Ranaka that have this presenting thing on lock down.
But besides all of that? How many times do you catch a face on local TV while browsing through and think to yourself, how did this Bob or Jill end up on TV? Or listen to radio and can’t help but think, how drunk was the station manager to hire her…or him?!
Do kids these days look up to YOTV presenters? And oh well…we can’t really blame them if they don’t. As for Generations, you’d watch to look at how silly the extras look in the background or just to reassure your predictions of what’s going to happen next. Then there’s iNkaba….wait, I’ll give that one a chance.
But no seriously, a lack of talent in the industry is definitely visible and as each day goes by, a new celebrity is discovered because s/he knows him who knows her who knows the producer of a certain variety show. Over and above, the awkward few that try to put a couple words together then call it a song and we call them artists.
I guess this is the part where you ask what my point is…
Well, in our past, lies a very strong entertainment industry. Those who were involved gave us an idea of what presenting should be like. An actor was one who’d play around with your emotions. Radio was different…a good different. Passion and respect for their respective crafts was definitely visible. And it gets deeper…they were not paid much.
Few had an idea about branding and endorsements are all about. Opportunities were limited for them. However, they gave us something profound to reminisce about because many were not in it for the fame and popularity, but they just merely love what they did.
Today is different. More money is made in the entertainment industry. You’re appreciated more by being in it. The term “celebrity” flies around loosely. #MustBeNice . So in terms of making a business out of this art, we could say SA has come a long way and it continues to blossom…BUT core talent; gripping stories, exciting TV; the best productions and the true essence of what entertainment is; have all become foreign concepts to our local industry.
Then again, these things happen when we classify ourselves as A list celebrities, when we’ve done naught to shape the face of the industry. *waves at Lupi*
Kinda funny right?