Watch every Wednesday on HONEY (DStv channel 173)
Watch every Wednesday on HONEY (DStv channel 173)

Love is in the air…

Inspiration can strike when you least expect it. It certainly did for South African filmmaker, Lusanda Chauke. She put her lockdown time to good use, coming up with a quirky and creative new television show called Love Swap.

Love Swap is a fresh new reality show on HONEY (DStv channel 173). The premise is intriguing and looks at what happens when couples swap partners to test the strength of their relationship.

The swapped couples cook for each other while finding out what makes their cooking partner tick. In the end the couples all have dinner together and discuss the experience, sharing opinions about each other and what they’ve learnt about their relationship.

Watch HONEY Watch Love Swap

Chauke, who runs a production company called Black Roots and has been based in Nigeria for the last eight years, explains how the idea came about. “When the president announced the lockdown, I flew back to South Africa as I didn’t want to be alone in Lagos. I was in SA for eight months and during that time I watched a lot of the US series, Black Love, and realised we didn’t have something like this in SA or Nigeria. Then, during a random session with friends, we were coming up with some ideas to pitch to Media24. It started with the concept of having to share your secrets with a stranger while cooking. I worked on fine-tuning the concept and then started the intense process of pitching the idea.”

Once the details were finalised and Chauke got the go-ahead, she continued to develop the idea. She says, “We did our casting online, but I had a core producing team working on it in Nigeria while I was here. We did the filming remotely for the pilot and had all the viewings online. Then I had to go back to work on the series. People were very welcoming of the idea, as they wanted to be on TV, so much so we had to watch out for fake couples. We had two people who pretended to be a couple to get on the show. It was also challenging trying to work within the restrictions as we were filming in confined spaces and had to follow all Covid protocols to ensure no-one got sick.”

Chauke has made quite the name for herself in Nigeria and South Africa, thanks to her hard work and dedication. Her career path has been rather exciting. She studied at AFDA, the South African Film School, majoring in Producing. After completing her Honours degree in 2002, she worked on various projects learning from the ground up. She works in various roles, from production coordinator and junior producer to head researcher before working her way up to becoming a producer.

She says, “My career highlights include working on Zola7 and the award-winning documentary series, A Country Imagined. Another highlight was working on Big Brother, which started my transition into reality TV. Then there was the multi-skilled dance reality show, Malta Guinness Street Dance, which aired in Nigeria and Ghana. Next, I got into the corporate space and moved countries after an offer from Globacom, a Nigerian telecoms company, to manage their Reality TV Unit in the marketing communications department. After several years at Globacom, I had a two-year stint at News Central, a Pan-African news station in Lagos.”

Now she is focused on her production company and telling stories her way.

You can get a taste of her work by watching Love Swap. As she says, “It's fun, engaging, and a real comfort show. You get to see what relationships are all about and you'll learn a thing or two all while being entertained.”

Watch Love Swap Wednesdays at 16:00 WAT, 17:00 CAT and 18:00 EAT on HONEY (DStv channel 173). 

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