Bigup To Mzansi Magic

As an entertainment commentator and blogger I find myself having to complain a lot about this industry that I love very much. It is with great elation that I can sometimes share good news or congratulate those within the business who are doing a great job. 

A nod goes to DStv’s channel 161, Mzansi Magic. Someone at the helm of that channel is in touch with what this industry and what our identity as a nation is. 

Mzansi Magic is slowly but surely proving to everybody in this industry that you can have authentically South African content without being sloppy. The channel is doing a good job of being a platform to tell good local stories. 

Ok, some of the local movies shown on the channel leave a lot to be desired for production quality but I have to say their drive to get as much of our local productions on air as possible is a step in the right direction. 

With this kind of determination and mandate, Mzansi Magic can become the best port of great South African content in the world. Everybody in this country’s entertainment industry could eventually just have to look at Mzansi Magic for the “How-To-Do-It-Right” manual. 

To be fair, KykNet is already doing a good job in this regard of being able to cater to a local audience with well-produced show that are not just imitations of American tv shows. What MM is doing is not unique but for black content, it is about damn time someone slap the arrogance off the face of those other channels. 

Mzansi Magic became a national tv news buzz with Clash Of the Choirs, then came iSibaya right off of the success of iNkaba and I hear a Connie and Shona Ferguson produced show called Rockvile will make its debut on the channel soon. 

The channel now has about 95% local content. It is not impossible. If the other channels used the same money they buy American shows with to invest in pushing local content, expand the pool of talent by hiring competent talent not by affiliation but just their talent, open up the platform for young people and new production companies to pitch shows alongside your big production companies on an equal playing field, they too can achieve the same feet. 

Nigerian entertainment industry is doing way better than us financially even though they have far less resources to produce quality productions than us simply because they value their local content more than American shows. They push their own stories and lifestyle in their shows thus enabling their own artists to be stars. 
If we put pride in our own stars and pushed for more local production to take precedence over imported content we too can have a successful industry that is able to feed its stars and not just a few lucky ones who just happen to have friends in the right places.  We would not have to rely on government sponsorship to create shows and movies, and we wouldn’t have to have every show on air be an Advertiser Funded  Show thus jeorpadising creative freedom for brand publicity. 

I am most impressed with Mzansi Magic for the fact that their platform is open to everybody. The channel is open to all creative in this business to pitch shows. You don’t have the bureaucracy and incompetence that you see on the other channels that has eroded our image in having the capacity to  produce local content that can be reflective of who we are. 

I commend Mzansi Magic for igniting the hope in all of us that if we have the right concepts for shows, there will be a place where someone would be willing to look into it and/or give us a platform to share that with our nation and the continent. 

I have always said, the tide will turn in this industry. The time will come when talent will trump all the other BS that has afforded some of these talentless and incompetent people in our industry the power to monopolise what we see on our screen. Time will come when it will no longer be about who you know but what you can deliver. 

That time might just be now. Thanks to efforts like these. Mzansi Magic still has a long way to go but they  are starting off on the right step. Let’s support them so that they can continue giving fresh talent a platform to showcase what this nation can do. 

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