Bonang Chats To Noeleen

Our girl B sat down with Noeleen today to talk about her life as South Africa's biggest star. The show was touted as a get-to-know Bonang episode. Sadly there was nothing new on the interview but our fav girl managed to impress and inspire.

One would have thought that after apparently trying for six months to get Bonang on 3Talk the producers could have come up with something more fresh to ask B but alas they did not. 

For the 40 minutes that B sat with Noeleen there was nothing new that came forth and I personally was a bit disappointed. 

The problem that I have with Noeleen's interviewing style is that our Queen of talk always seems like she does not want to offend her guest. Nothing wrong with that and in fact it is commendable. However, when a guest comes to a talkshow, they are not there to become friends with the host.

It bothers me that often when Noeleen is interviewing celebrities she seems to be concerned about being friendly with them than asking them questions that we the viewers would be interested in. 

Ok let me fair and admit that I did not know that Bonang auditioned for the "Tshidi" character on Rhythm City. That was new but guess what? Bonang volunteered that information after a viewer posed a question. 

I understand that not every interview needs to be too personal or heaven forbid all interviewers turn into Debra Patta or Kuli Roberts. However there are ways to conduct an in depth interview with a star without violating their privacy. 

For instance, if I spent an hour with Bonang interviewing her for the nation I would have touched on these issues:

  • Live
The show is responsible for B's success. Thus far, except for talking about auditioning process, she has never really talked about working in the show and the events that have been part of it.

For example, when Minnie joined the show she and Bonang were pinned against each other by the viewers. Whether that has any basis is irrelevant. What could have been a relevant question would have been to ask her about relationships that she had with her co-presenters and how the rumours impacted the working dynamics. 

Bonang could dodge giving the nitty-gritty about what happened on the show but atleast the question would give her and the viewers an opportunity to address the issue and move on from it. There is no right or wrong answer here. B is an articulate girl and I am certain that she would have found an answer. 

  • Babystar Line
With all her success, she too has had to deal with disappointment on a professional level. One such is the situation around her bag line and the subsequent severance of her relationship with her partner in the business.

That would have been an interesting question to ask. Being the inspirational figure that Bonang is, she probably would have inspired her fans more by addressing this issue and talking about the lessons she learned from the experience.

Again, she may not want to give details of the situation but atleast the question would have been there. 

  • Criticism
Though she did tell Noeleen that she blocks people that write negative stuff about her on Twitter, there is another side of criticism that is not personal. Having interviewed and met her a few times, I know she is not one of those people that thinks every criticism is about bringing her down.

I wrote this article about her website and the misleading number that it has about LIVE viewership. Subsequent to that I have met and have had a friendly relationship with her because she understood that I did not write that because I just wanted to attack her. 

Since then we even follow each other on Twitter and she is always happy to reply privately to any question I ask. That has actually made me admire her more because she understands that with the work that we do criticism is part of game. One chooses to ignore it or take it as something that would help him/her grow.

With that Noeleen could have asked her about the impact that criticism has had in the decisions that she makes in her career. She can easily blow off the question and say she does not care or she could acknowledge the importance of being in touch with your fans and listening when they point out issues that they are not pleased. Again, either way the issue is addressed

  • Vanity
With her huge career and a fan-base that many celebrities in this country can only dream of, how does she keep her vanity in check?

That question would open up an opportunity for her to talk about the real Bonang and the relationship that she has with the industry. Is her outlook on life dictated to by the fame or is she able to clock out and just be Bonang not Bonang-The It Girl?

  • Being A Rolemodel
Her fame comes with a lot of responsibility as people automatically see her as a rolemodel. Does that have any effect on how she conducts her career? How important is education in her life and what impact did her fame have on her studies. 

Though there were speculations about whether she completed her tertiary studies, she has never really talked about her education. Now, whether she did finish or not, some of her fans may not have the means to get an education but may have talents that could get them out of poverty. Her answer would work either way.

Those are some the angles I would have taken had I sat with her for an hour. 

It is nice to talk about shoes and how gorgeous Bonang is but there is more to her than just these frivolous stuff. Who is Bonang? What views does she hold about our country and the world's pressing matters. 

Yes, B is not a politician but neither does she live in a vacuum. As a face of Youth success in our times there is a lot of service that she could give to this nation by sharing what it means for her to have the opportunities that she has when many of our youths are falling down the cracks. 

Simply, Bonang is an intelligent girl and I just wish someone could give her an interview where she can show the nation that. What she represents is another side to our country's youth that is not about chasing the bling life without setting yourself with a good foundation. 

Her success is not only about being a girl on TV. She is a black girl who has pioneered a new era of young black artists in this could not just being faces on our tv and magazines with any substance behind or worse no financial future beyond that fame. 

I love Bonang and would watch her talk about the weather so I did enjoy the interview. I do, however, feel that the hour was wasted on talking about her clothes and how fabulous her life is. 

The sad reality is that some of her fans are fans for wrong reasons. They are fans because she is a girl on TV who is living this glamorous life. BUT Bonang is more than just that. She is media mogul in the making. She is the epitome of what tenacity and hardwork can afford you if you apply yourself. 

How glorious would it be if her admirers idolised her for pushing boundaries and open doors for many young black celebs to start becoming viable brands in this industry. 

No doubt, Bonang is an inspiration. I am inspired by her as are many South Africans. Hopefully some day this nation will get to know Bonang is outside of the persona we saw on Noeleen today and in every other interviewed she had done since she became our star. 

That said, I still enjoyed the show and had fun watching it and reading the tweets. Inspired 4 dayzzzz! 


Best moment in the interview is when she was asked if she had had any plastic surgery or would in future.

She replied that she'd take that R40 000 put in into buying a 2.6 million house. (BOOM!!!)


Anonymous said...

wow that would have been an interesting interview for sho. I love you both

Anonymous said...

The title "Queen of Talk" could easily go to someone else. Noeleen seems to talk one-on-one interviews for granted, she really doesn't come across as someone who has prepared for them like she excels when having experts of any nature on the show. She asks questions you'd ask someone if you ran into them in a grocery store and unfortunately this makes some of her guests come across as people who lack substance.

Seeing Bonang is always a pleasure and even though the interview really wasn't an in-depth, there were lessons learned

PhilMphela said...

Annon 11:04,

I totally agree that there were some good lessons learned from the interview.

For me that is mainly because Bonang is such a great person to interview. That is why I feel the hour was wasted.

She could have given Noeleen so much more had she challenged her.

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