“This season will be full of surprises,” says Afrikaans singer Karen Zoid as S6 of her talk and music show Die Republiek Van Zoid Afrika prepares to kick off on Thursday, 16 April on kykNET (144) at 20:00. It’s been two years since Karen’s last season of Republiek, on which she has light-hearted and soul-warming conversations with SA’s famous faces and musos. But drum roll, please, because the wait is now over.

“It’s more than just a television show. It’s a passion project, and we’ll be feeling the passion in 13 new episodes, jam-packed with interesting guests,” adds Karen, who performs with each guest at the end of the episode. If you miss one, you can always use DStv Catch Up and stream the episode.

Spoiler Alert

Karen is playing her cards close to her chest as to who will be sitting down with her for a chat in this season. “Nobody likes to open a birthday present a week before your birthday,” she teases.

But we’re a bunch of gift shakers and squeezers here, so we did some digging and found out that Dutch singer Stef Bos will make an appearance, along with heartthrob Afrikaans singer Elandré Schwartz and music band Spoegwolf. And look out for Carte Blanche journo Derek Watts, cricket star AB de Villiers, as well as soapie actress Denise Newman (Bridgette October in kykNET soap Suidooster).

Memorable performances

Since Die Republiek Van Zoid Afrika made its debut in 2014, it has led to five music albums and 67 chart-topping duets. “Each performance is unique in its own way,” Karen remarks. “I remember all of them, but the one that really made an impact on me was the duet I did with Patricia Lewis in S5. From the start she was very clear what song she wanted to sing – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack. I didn’t know the song, but I quickly learnt it. It was one of the most memorable musical experiences for me personally."

Another performance that pulled Karen’s heart strings was with the late Johnny Clegg, also in S5. He belted out his international hit Great Heart with her. “Back then he was already so sick, but he came through and sang with me. It was remarkable, I felt honoured,” says the host.

It’s a celebration

“We produce a quality product,” says Karen. “From filming with six cameras, to sending the music to be mixed and graded in the USA. After each episode wraps, none of us want to leave and we even get emotional because we enjoy it so much to work and spend time together.”

2020 marks Karen’s 20th year in the music industry, and she’s been planning a huge celebration concert at the Sun Arena in Pretoria, which was originally meant to open its doors in July this year. “For now, that has been postponed due to the Covid-19 virus, but hopefully we can still do it later this year,” Karen admits.

In the meantime, viewers can still get their dose of Karen in Die Republiek van Zoid Africa on kykNET, and enjoy some brand-new musical collaborations.

Watch Die Republiek Van Zoid Afrikaon Thursdays on kykNET (144) at 20:00. You can also stream the latest episodes with DStv Now or Binge- watch from the beginning on Showmax

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