Lasizwe, live from lockdown!

With his reality show currently in quarantine, Lasizwe chats about what we can expect when S3 finally breaks free on MTV (130)

Lasizwe fans who’ve been eagerly awaiting Season 3 of his reality show @Lasizwe Fake It Till You Make It to arrive on MTV (130) were gearing up for an April launch. That is unfortunately currently on hold. But Lasizwe himself took a little time to talk about what (and who) we can expect in the new season, how COVID-19 has affected his production, and what he’s been doing while he’s been in lockdown with the rest of South Africa…

Put on pause

When did you begin production on S3?

“We started filming this season at the end of February, beginning of March when we started getting these pandemic scares. I was still trying to see what was new, what was interesting, what was happening in my life and then… Ja. Filming had to be stopped in the week on which President Cyril Rhamaphosa announced the lockdown (on the evening of Sunday, 22 March, effective from midnight on Thursday, 26 March). We quickly had to gather a lot of content, and we just started panic shooting in terms of what we could get before lockdown. I would have appreciated Cyril letting us finish Season 1 of Lockdown, but he just said, ‘Let’s go into Season 2 before we even finish Season 1!’ Okay, OMG, Cyril… But he did a great job because we are flattening the curve and that’s really important.”

What were your thoughts about continuing production early on during Lockdown?

“Girrrl, I thought I was going to ‘Kardashian’ this thing! You know how the Kardashians do this thing (continuing shooting later parts of the season while the early parts start airing already). Usually in South African productions, we finish shooting six months prior (to broadcast) and it all comes out well. But this time around it was just like, joh, we’re shooting everything! Like from me in the shower, and this and that and this and that. I had to be in the deep-end and swim really fast. I’m going to be keeping up with the Kardashians.”

Life with Lasizwe

What period in your life will the season cover?

“In the second trailer from MTV, you’ll see a lot that’s happening in my life. I need to balance my personal life with my business.

You’ll see that my sister has become a mom and she is now a single parent, and I have taken the initiative to be like a father now. This is bringing in that baby that everyone on Instagram was wondering about. They were all like, ‘Who’s this baby?!?’ Girl, that’s my baby, you know. So that is a big responsibility and it wasn’t an easy decision because I was also personally going through a lot -- I still am going through a lot, mentally, just trying to survive this lockdown. And that will be seen in the show.

And the Lasizwe brand is going to be more visible in the show because you’ll see a lot of my team. You’ll see behind the scenes of how my YouTube videos are made. In the first two seasons, you’d see, ag, happy, jolly Lasizwe. Now you will see a Lasizwe who will break down, who will be angry. It’s Real Realness. I just want to be naked and expose myself to the world.”

Why did you decide to make that change?

“My Instagram is like a parallel world, it’s where I escape. I can be anyone on the net. With my content I can kind of get away with anything and everything because I get to play characters, and I get to address many of the big problems that are happening in the country in a humorous but informative way. I get to play Nomatriquency, I get to play a mom, I get to play a sister, and aunt. Now on my reality show there’s no time to say, ‘Okay guys, cut the camera, let me put my wig on.’ Nope, you’ve got to see me put my wig on, you’ll get to see the transition of me now becoming Nomatriquency. Now Lasizwe is going to DNA (Brand Architects), he has to go to GAME (the retailer, which has latched onto Lasizwe’s YouTube sketch character Nomatriquency), he has to go to MTV.”

Will we be meeting new members of your family?

“Lots. During Season 2 it was Cedric Fourie. You’ll see on the show why he ain’t there no more, you know. But Season 3 you’re going to see my sister Chantel in the show. Her role is that she is trying to figure out how to be a mom, because she’s fallen into our mother’s cycle (as a single mom). She is trying to not make the same mistakes now that her mom did.”

Will viewers see you workshopping new ideas and new characters?

“Definitely, in this season you’ll see the making of the most controversial skit I’ve actually made in my whole YouTube career, where I collaborated with a beauty blogger and influencer, Mihlali Ndamase (When Your Best Friend Passes On, which went live on Monday, 16 March 2020). You’ll see me calling her up and you’ll see the dynamics and the difficulty of our two worlds coming together and creating, and the history of the skit that was made.”

Remote control

What practical things have you been learning about making reality TV?

“In Season 3 I am officially an executive producer of my reality show. I am learning the ropes between the front line and the back line of the show. I am being more expressive of how I feel and living in the moment. In Season 3, from episode one till episode 13, I want people to be asking, ‘What is next?!? Is he going to do this? Is he going to do that?’ The nice thing about the production team I work with, Idea Collective, is that we are very aware of the little things that make the biggest impact in the moment. So yes, you’re living your life and we’re documenting that, but also just drop a few bombs here and there, and that could make an epic episode.”

What are you doing as an executive producer?

“It’s compiling the content, it’s also learning the ropes of how a reality show is done. I have my own production team that I use to make my YouTube videos. I’ve been implementing what I’ve learned on the @Lasizwe set into my own scale. That’s why my YouTube videos have taken bigger steps in leaps and bounds. Now I have a videographer, I have a content co-ordinator, we’ve got sound and now I’ve had more ownership of my content and my space. I’ve been able to say, ‘I wasn’t just the face of Lasizwe and was told where to move around. I added input to that.’

And I’m empowering the youth. The exposure has given me the platform to employ other people. Right now I have Mihle, who is my personal assistant and administrator and she has also become my production assistant. She’s learnt from what I taught her, based on what I saw during production. So she knows now that production assistants source locations, organise food, compile a call sheet – due to what I have been learning on set from the MTV set.”

Lockdown Life with Lasizwe

What have you been doing during lockdown?

“There are some days where we have Zoom calls the whole day and I’m jumping from one meeting to another, and there are some days when you are just so tired of being tired. You’re tired of closing your eyes. I’m tired of sleeping. I’m tired of eating. I’m tired of getting up and going to the living room and just watching TV. I just want my life to go back to normal. I appreciate this time, it’s amazing, thank all the gods, all the water, all the air, all the fire, but I just want to ask, ‘What were you thinking when you brought Corona to the world? Because this is what we did not sign up for!’ Ja, babe.”

What have you been bingeing on TV?

“Recently I have found a huge passion for watching whatever is happening on MTV – not that I am punting them! But the shows are good! I was watching Ex On The Beach. I personally believe that one day I am going to be on that show because I got a lot of exes. And I know they are going to come up to me and be like, ‘Yo, whazzup.’ I love it, I really love the concept where you are in this house interacting with people’s exes. It just shows that we are humans, we are people. Paths shall cross! And Catfish. And I’m also liking my own show -- my repeats are good, hey. I watched myself and I was like, ’Okay! Did I do this? I went there? I said this?’”

Who are you in Lockdown with?

“I am in lockdown with three people -- my, myself, and I. There are some days when I am really grateful that I am in lockdown alone. I can walk naked naked in the house, I can twerk naked on top of the counter. I’ve been cooking lately. My sleep patterns have been really messed up… but there are some days when it’s just so lonely. It's just terrible. I play sad music and I cry the whole day. I go all mushy.”

There are days when I am being flirtatious and I flirt with every guy on my contact list. It’s come back to bite me, because now everyone wants my attention. Everyone is like, ‘Can I come quarantine with you?’ But it’s lockdown! We can’t go anywhere. Men think they can make a plan, but I am like, ‘Honey, don’t make a plan with me, don’t make a plan.’ It’s interesting.

There are good days when I wake up and I think, ‘Let’s conquer the world’, and there are bad days where I think that this better end, because I have had it. I am grateful for the people on my contact list like my boyfriend, my sister, and a lot of people who’re close to my heart who FaceTime me every day when I feel the void of that loneliness.”

@Lasizwe S3 is currently on hold on MTV (130) due to the COVID-19 lockdown impacting production.

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