Bonang Slumming With A Vuzu Reality Show

Never thought it would ever happen but word broke this week that South Africa's Queen of Slay, Bonang Matheba has signed on to do a reality show on Vuzu. Dare I say it; I really do not think this is a good idea at all. 

Bonang Matheba has built her entire career around being at the top. She is a groundbreaker. She is a trailblazer. She is the Queen of firsts. She is at the pinnacle of what success in the entertainment industry in South Africa is. What the heck is doing with a reality show?

Despite our history, I will always be a huge Bonang fan because she represents a whole lot more than just being a celebrity. Her success is an inspiration and she has always been that beacon of hope we look to in this business to know one can actually rise above the limitations of our local entertainment industry.  Black creatives will know what I am talking about on that.

I am not always right so perhaps there is something I am missing in this equation but recent career moves by B* just aren't making any sense to me. I suppose sometimes when you reach the pinnacle of one's career there is not much room to diversify one's choices.

Bonang doing a reality show is slumming in my opinion. This is a bad move à la Mariah Carey with that E! reality show mess. She is Bonang Matheba — a brand built successfully on that element of mystique and being above fringe. The whole Bonang allure rests on that element of "how does she do it?" and that Beyoncè-esque sense of mystery. 

Unfortunately, of late, Bonang is making decisions that in my opinion are slowly eroding her brand cache. She is drawn into gimmicky fake break-up publicity stunts by her boyfriend. And now she is going to be doing a reality show, in the days of Papa Penny doing reality shows. Seriously?! 

To top it all off she is not doing it on the biggest channel in Mzansi as it would befit someone of her stature. She is doing it on VUZU, allegedly. Again... SERIOUSLY?!. Vuzu?! That guarantees the show to be one of the lowest rated in SA.

The fall out for this could really hurt Bonang. Should the reality show fail, it would expose the fact that, successful and great as she is, Bonang has no ratings pull. Top Billing and Afternoon Express's ratings are still very low despite having her as a presenter.  Top Billing is solid because the show has a high LSM brand value even though very few people watch it, but Vuzu is another story. 

The highest rated show on Vuzu attracts roughly around 80 000 viewers per episode. Say Bonang's fans for a change actually support her work not just by tweeting but actually investing time to tune in, she may pull around 100 000 viewers per episode. That would be bad. Good for Vuzu but bad for Bonang's "Queen Of Slay" brand messaging because that would mean she would be beat by Somizi, Papa Penny and The Ranakas on Mzansi Magic because they pulling over 300 000 viewers per episode that side. 

Given Vuzu's history with reality shows, its current ratings pull and not-so-great mass appeal, including the fact that reality shows in SA are no longer about being flashy and glamourous but are more on the authentic South African common lifestyle side, I predict a Bonang reality show will not do well unless it falls into the ratchet TV slope. 

Do Bonang fans really wanna see her as just one of us? Are Bonang fans ready to see her having fights or being rude to anyone? Sadly, that is the only way her reality show will get attention. As glamorous as Somizi's reality show is, much of its appeal is his personality and the perceived realness of his character. Is Bonang prepared to strip herself bare to that level?  How real is Bonang prepared to be? 

Remember the Nonhle Thema Goes To Hollywood flop and subsequent fan reactions? A repeat of that and B*'s star power could be really tested. It just has to be a hit and it has a lot riding against it. This could lead to brands questioning, though she gets media coverage and social media attention, is she worth the investment?

Bonang does not need a reality show. I don't know her bank balance and often in SA perception is not reality, maybe she needs the paycheque (because I cant possibly think of any reason why she would do this) but not all money is good money. 

I am ranting too much so let me end this with some hope that there is some master plan in all this that I am not seeing. It would have to be a genius one though because the numbers are not painting a promising end to this. 

Bonang, in my opinion, is above reality shows. 

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