A celebration of representation at #DStvRoundtable

Local stars chat about their favourite moments filming in 2020, and why inclusivity matters on TV, especially in South Africa

The stars of South Africa’s favourite soapies, dramas, talkshows and reality series are back in their hotseats for another casual chat about the entertainment industry at #DStvRoundtable, hosted by comedian Donovan Goliath. In this week’s episode, the celebs unpack more details about their latest projects, which are available on streaming platform Showmax and DStv Catch Up.

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In the first half of the video, Donovan talks to the Unscripted panel about their stand-out moments on their shows – the group includes reality series personalities Kabous Meiring, Rozanne McKenzie, Makgotso “Leanne” Makopo, Beer Adriaanse and Janina Oberholzer.

And in the second half of the episode, the comedian sits with the Scripted panel, made up of top local performers, to discuss elements that make their shows authentically South Africa. This set consists of Didintle Khunou, Kate Liquorish, Robert Whitehead, Lorcia Cooper, Stephanie Baartman, as well as Zola Msizi and Kgosi Mongake.

Gather around for profound conversations that lead to plenty of laughs. Don’t forget to join the discussion #DStvRoundtable.

Getting to know the host

Donovan asks the Unscripted panel about their highlights on the shows that they’re involved in. “If you were to single out an episode that [captures] what your world is about, which would it be?” Here’s a rundown of some of the responses:

First up, it’s Leanne, the modern and glam sangoma (who stars on Izangoma Zodumo, available on Showmax and Catch Up), who urges the audience to tune in to episode 5 of her reality show. Izangoma Zodumo transports viewers into the world of traditional healers, and that specific episode gives viewers a deeper understanding into her gift. But before she provides more insight, she addresses a subject that has been bothering her since she heard Donovan clicking his tongue and pronouncing Nguni words effortlessly. “How do you know all these African words, and you speak them so fluently?” demands Leanne.

Donovan’s answer is simple: he was raised in Umtata in the Eastern Cape, and he speaks isiXhosa. But trust Leanne to take the chat a step further. “I thought that you were white,” adds Leanne while hiding a part of her face in her hands. The panel bursts out laughing – and the conversation gets going.

Watch Izangoma Zodumo

A moment in time

It isn’t as easy for Janina (co-presenter of Toks ’n Tjops) to select one highlight from the sports talkshow, since Toks has been airing for 10 seasons – and, of course, each episode holds a special place in her heart. However, she recalls a past episode during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, when the Springboks lost to Australia. “Everyone was defeated,” says Janina. “We all hugged each other [on set] because we knew that the nation was saddened by the loss. It wasn’t meant to happen,” says Janina. While the episode isn’t available on Catch Up or Showmax, the presenter assured Donovan that she’ll dig in her archives and share the nostalgic event on social media.

Read about ToksWatch Toks

Lending a helping hand

The conversation grows emotional when Rozanne (presenter of Besigheid Wat Saak Maak and Kopskuif) talks about her favourite episode on a show she produces, Omgee-engle on VIA (DStv 147). She recalls the time when the Omgee-engele team assisted a woman who lost three of her family members and all her belongings after her house was set alight. “It’s not all doom and gloom, though,” says Rozanne about the woman’s traumatic experience. “The episode gives you hope, too. I remember thinking, if this woman can survive this [distressing ordeal], then there’s nothing I can’t do,” she adds.

Read about BesigheidWatch Besigheid

Watch Omgee-engeleWatch Kopskuif

The other side of the coin

The conversation continues with the Scripted panel, and the performers deliberate on aspects of their respective shows that reflect our local audiences. While Lorcia (star on local dramas Lockdown, Still Breathing, and Housekeepers, all available on Showmax) voiced her frustrations regarding the lack of representation of the Coloured community in a previous video of #DStvRoundtable, she commends DStv for showcasing various ethnicities, heritages and cultural groups.

“DStv has created a platform that celebrates different diversities. I’m able to watch a range of shows that represent South Africans [from varied backgrounds]. What I think that has done for our country is that we’re moving away from only telling struggle stories. We’re able to tell our stories. Full stop. Whether that includes struggle, love, romance. Our stories no longer stem from a political voice or our differences but our unity, and how we connect,” explains Lorcia.

Read about LockdownRead about Housekeepers

Read about Still Breathing

Unity in diversity

Adding to Lorcia’s sentiments, Didintle (who plays Esther in Isono) explains that the BET (DStv 129) telenovela is rooted in inclusivity. “It’s not just about black South Africans in Vosloorus [in the east of Johannesburg]. The cast includes Nigerians, Russians, Englishmen, Afrikaners, Indians and Coloureds. Isono is a true reflection of our diversity,” she says.

Read about IsonoWatch Isono

A lesson on culture clash

For Kate (Abi on drama series Still Breathing, and Laurette on new holiday movie A Twisted Christmas, available on Showmax), nothing says diversity like acting on Twisted. The film follows housewife Laurette and her privileged family, whose lives are turned upside down when they’re kicked out of their home and invited to move in with their Muslim landscaper in Bo-Kaap. “[The movie] is a true reflection of our realities as we’re faced with cultural clashes on a daily basis,” says Kate.

“As a white person, there’s a [tendency] to place your imprint on things, everyone must speak English. Everyone must cater to your needs, and I try to fight against that [bias] in my personal capacity. It’s wonderful to be part of a movie that laughs at that and explores a character who’s [ignorant]. There’s healing in someone who is white and privileged, and [them] finally realising that they’re wrong. In a way that isn’t forceful, in a way that is gentle, and in a way that will make you feel good.”

Read about Still Breathing

Intrigued? The stars are dropping weekly gems and you can see it all on DStv’s YouTube. Just search for #DStvRoundtable.

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