I am going to be honest with you, I don’t really watch reality TV. Don’t know why I said ‘really’, I don’t watch reality TV at all. I’d rather stare at the sun but to each their own. The stuff that I watch would probably bore the life out of most though. So, this is not me saying I’m better than you, dear reality TV fan.
There is movement in the reality TV space right now. Even a reality TV hater like myself can’t help but note the frenzy over the new Netflix show – Young, Famous and African. There is chatter all over social media and it seems people are loving what they are seeing.
I wasn’t brave enough to try out a full episode but I watched the trailer and I’m impressed. Not by the show itself, I don’t think they are breaking any new ground here. Netflix and the show’s creators and producers used a tried and tested strategy and are apparently reaping the rewards.
They did that thing where you get some famous people from different parts of the world and throw them into the same show and get a boost from those personalities’ already huge fanbases.
Being an Afrobeat fan, I know Nigeria’s 2baba, formerly 2face and Diamond Platinumz of Tanzania. I didn’t know Khanyi Mbau from S.A but she apparently has a following and is married to a Zimbabwean. Some other spicy characters from other parts of Africa bring their own fans.
Then there is Nadia Nakai who calls herself a South African with Zimbabwean heritage. There is a whole debate about that, with some South Africans saying she is no South African and some Zimbabweans claiming she’s not proud of her roots. I guess that’s part of the drama and if you’re all about that you can dig in.
The content war rages on
Although I’m never going to watch Young, Famous and Africa, I am happy it exists. This is the kind of competition DStv needs. For years, before internet access improved across Africa, DStv had a monopoly and would serve us whatever they wanted knowing that it was either that or our terrible national broadcasters.
Now, services like Netflix are a real option and when they get hit shows like this, they will get new subscribers and retain the old ones. The pandemic ushered in the ‘new normal’ which includes proper connectivity at home and there’s never been a better time for streaming services to expand. Hit shows help with this.
Some of us still have DStv and Showmax boots on our necks, being the sport fans that we are. However, we should be seeing some competition in that space. Whatever rights Multichoice has should be up for negotiation at some point.
No longer will we be second class citizens on a streaming platform like we are on Showmax, where our Southern friends get Champions League football and the rest of us are out of luck.
Password sharers shortchanging the streamers
As the streaming services grow they are having to deal with the scourge of password sharing. Users are getting around paying the full price by sharing passwords and splitting the cost. Both Netflix and DStv have been trying to combat this:
Should Zimbabwean content producers be looking at reality TV?
I don’t know how big the appetite for reality TV content is in Zimbabwe. I imagine if well produced, Zimbabweans will watch. From the chatter on Young, Famous and African I see Zimbos excited to see other Zimbabweans on the show. Same as they were when Roki and Maneta were on Big Brother.
However, the excitement could be coming from seeing them in a setting with other Africans. If the show had Zimbabweans only we could see the excitement dip. Then again, who’s to say by how much the excitement would fall.
So for 3Ktv and the other channels soon to hit the airwaves, reality TV could be a cheat code.